On the eve of receiving March’s retail sales numbers, economists are expecting encouraging numbers. Vaccination efforts, improving weather and stimulus checks are all expected to drive massive, sustained buying, CNBC reports.

March’s retail sales statistics will be available Thursday morning. A 6% rise is expected by Dow Jones economists, but some estimates range upwards of 10%.

“We expect the March retail sales report to be outstanding with headline and core retail sales both surging more than 11% [monthly,]” wrote Bank of America economists. “Stimulus, reopening, and better weather served as a potent cocktail for consumer spending.”

High numbers would be a welcome sight after February’s 3% contraction. “It’s reopening. It’s stimulus money. It’s weather payback, all conflating to be a gangbuster number,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.

Zandi estimated growth higher than 10%. "I think we’re going to see very strong numbers going forward. We’re off and running," he said.

Prices are expected to increase in the United States as its economy reopens thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, but whether they continue to rise remains to be seen Prices are expected to increase in the United States as its economy reopens thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, but whether they continue to rise remains to be seen Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

There are some reasons to temper expectations. Bankrate polling of how stimulus money is being spent indicates most of it is going to bills, debts and essential spending. Non-essential retail buying comes in far behind.

Even the less optimistic polls agree that the U.S. is in a strong position coming out of the pandemic. The optimistic end of the spectrum is very optimistic: Early analysis from the NPD Group indicates almost half the population plans to buy clothing in the next two to three months.

"The double-digit dollar gains seen over the past four weeks compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 reflect the strength and fortitude of the U.S. consumer and the continuation of their 'here-and-now' focus on spending," said NPD Chief Retail Advisor Marshal Cohen. "The stimulus is indeed stimulating consumer spending and bringing their emerging wants and needs to the surface as they begin to reengage in more in-person activities – indicators retail needs to pay attention to as it readies for the coming months."