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Retail Sales (Feb.)

The 0.4% m/m fall in retail sales in February only partly reversed the 3.2% surge in January, suggesting that real consumption growth will accelerate to at least 3.5% annualised in the first quarter. But to the extent that the unseasonably mild weather boosted spending in the opening two months of the year, that impact will be unwound in March. A loss of confidence in the wake of the SVB collapse could also hit spending this month.

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