Retailers from discounter Target to department-store chain Macy's reported better-than-expected sales in March in the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy.
A combination of warm weather and high demand for spring fashions boosted revenue for the month, but analysts say there's much more than higher temperatures at play. Americans have continued to cut back on spending in the slow economic recovery, but they're starting to be encouraged by the improving job market.
Some retailers are reporting better earnings than expected. See how the national chains in your area are doing, and check with local businesses as well.
Check your unemployment numbers and show people how they have, or have not, changed over the past few years.
Talk with people and see if they are spending more, or if they plan to. What are the reasons people are spending more now? Is it the weather, or a generally better feeling about the economy?