Americans heartened by an improving job market flocked to shopping malls and auto showrooms in March, raising the odds of a durable economic recovery.
Stocks climbed for a fifth day after the reports signaled the expansion is broadening without stoking inflation, and results at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Intel Corp. beat estimates.
The economy expanded “somewhat” across most of the U.S. in March as consumer spending and manufacturing improved, signaling the recovery is broadening without gaining much speed, according to the Fed’s Beige Book of regional economic activity issued today. Central bankers will use the report as a basis for formulating monetary policy when they next meet April 27-28.
Retail sales were projected to increase 1.2 percent, according to the median estimate of 79 economists in a Bloomberg survey.