Washington (CNN) — Spending at US retailers rose in March for the second consecutive month, underscoring the strength of the US consumer fueled by a robust job market.

Retail sales rose 0.7% in March from the prior month, a slower pace than February’s upwardly revised 0.9% gain, the Commerce Department reported Monday. That beat the 0.4% increase that economists projected, according to a FactSet poll. The figures are adjusted for seasonal swings but not inflation.

Retail spending has increased in seven of the past 10 months through March.

Sales were up across several categories in March, including at gas stations, which increased a strong 2.1% from February. Gas prices have steadily risen in the past several weeks. Still, excluding sales at gas stations, retail sales were up a robust 0.6% in March.

Online sales jumped 2.7% in March, while specialty stores saw sales increase a solid 2.1% that month. Spending at restaurants and bars rose 0.4% last month. Meanwhile, sales of electronics, clothes, and sporting goods fell 1.2%, 1.6% and 1.8%, respectively.

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