A fresh batch of stimulus checks sent consumer purchases surging in March as the U.S. economy continued to get juice from aggressive congressional spending.
Advance retail sales rose 9.8% for the month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain and a decline of 2.7% in February.
Sporting goods, clothing and food and beverage led the gains in spending and contributed to the best month for retail since the May 2020 gain of 18.3%, which came after the first round of stimulus checks.
A separate report showed first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunged, with the Labor Department reporting 576,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10. That was easily the lowest total since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and represented a sharp decline from the previous week’s total of 769,000.
The Dow Jones claims estimate was 710,000.
The hype train for buy now, pay later (BNPL) continues to pick up steam as consumers seek shopping alternatives during the pandemic – could this emerging payment option be a credit card killer?
While flexible payments are something that all generations can get behind, younger consumers in particular are drawn toward simple payment processes and behavioral shifts away from traditional credit cards.
As a way to better understand usage, experiences, and trust surrounding BNPL, The Strawhecker Group (TSG) surveyed over 1,500 U.S. consumers in February. Check out some highlights below and download the infographic to get a better understanding of why consumers are choosing BNPL.