April 16, 2007 -- Higher gas prices drove retail sales growth in March, with those sales rising by 0.7 percent to $371.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Excluding cars and parts retailers, sales rose by 0.8 percent, including a 3.1 percent jump in gasoline sales, the report said.

Total retail sales between January and March were up 3.2 percent from the same period last year, led by an 8 percent increase in clothing store sales, the report said.

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