US retail sales skyrocketed by 9.8 percent in March after tumbling by a revised 2.7 percent in February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The stronger than expected retail sales growth was partly due to a jump in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which soared by 15.1 percent in March after plunging by 3.5 percent in February. However, excluding the rebound in auto sales, retail sales still spiked by 8.4 percent in March after tumbling by a revised 2.5 percent in February. Ex-auto sales were expected to jump by 5.0 percent.
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