WASHINGTON — Retail sales in the U.S. increased by 6.5% as compared to the same period a year ago, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday. Grocery store sales increased 3% over the same period, the agency added. Building material and garden equipment and supply dealers, which saw sales improve by 14.1%, paced the overall sales gain and suggested milder weather in many parts of the country contributed to the sales uptick. “Moderate retail sales growth in March will help ...

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