April 16. 2012 10:00AM - Last modified: April 16. 2012 10:37AM

Consumer spending soars again

The U.S. stock market rose today with the news that American consumer spending increased for the third consecutive month, indicating that the economic recovery is gathering steam.

Consumers increased spending in virtually every category, from online stores to traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. Automobiles, electronics and appliances, building materials and clothing stores saw the largest gains.
Retail sales climbed 0.8 percent in March, the U.S. Commerce Department said, following revised increases of 1.0 percent in February and 0.7 percent in January.
Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70 percent of U.S. economy.
Retailers have been helped by one of the warmest winters in decades.
The largest local gainers in the BizTimes Stock Index this morning were Joy Global Inc. (up 55 cents to $75.23) and Kohl’s Corp. (up 49 cents to $50.08).