US consumers made light of any tax hikes to boost retail spending by 1.1 percent, the biggest rise in five months.
As much as half of the increase was a result of higher petrol prices, but Americans also splashed the cash on cars, high street fashion and furniture.
The numbers surprised economists who thought payroll tax rises, which came into effect in January, would keep the collective wallet in the back pocket, but that was not so according to the data.
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