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Did the stimulus checks work?

Retail sales jumped almost 10% because people spent their stimulus checks

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In this March 18, 2021 file photo, a salesperson helps a customer shopping for Bean Boots at the L.L. Bean flagship retail store in Freeport, Maine. Newly vaccinated and armed with $1,400 stimulus checks, Americans went on a spending spree last month, buying new clothes and going out to eat again.

In this March 18, 2021 file photo, a salesperson helps a customer shopping for Bean Boots at the L.L. Bean flagship retail store in Freeport, Maine. Newly vaccinated and armed with $1,400 stimulus checks, Americans went on a spending spree last month, buying new clothes and going out to eat again.

Associated Press

Americans surely went shopping in March when the stimulus checks came out, as retail sales jumped almost 10%, according to The Associated Press.

Did people use stimulus checks?

Retail sales jumped 9.85% in March after falling by 3% in February, according to the Commerce Department. This was the biggest jump in spending since May 2020, when stores reopened after locking down in April.

  • Wall Street analysts predicted a 5.5% jump for retail sales in March. This clearly exceeded those numbers, The Associated Press reports.

The stimulus check spending “is the latest sign that the economy is improving as vaccinations accelerate, business restrictions are relaxed and more people are willing to head out to shop or eat,” according to The Associated Press.

Much of the spending has been attributed to the $1,400 stimulus checks that came out in March. While the checks were meant to help families in need, there were some families and individuals who decided to spend the money on shopping sprees, according to The Associated Press.

How long will stimulus checks last?

A new survey from BankRate.com found that 67% of Americans felt that the third stimulus check of $1,400 could help their near-time finances. Close to 61% said the stimulus check “won’t sustain their financial well-being for more than three months,” according to the survey, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Americans said the check would help pay for monthly bills (45%), some of their daily needs like food (36%) and their debt (32%), according to BankRate.com.