WASHINGTON (AFP) - US retail sales rose in March for the third consecutive month, ticking up a greater than anticipated 1.6pc, figures released by the US Commerce Dept showed Wednesday. The sales figures were the highest since November, and were strong across several sectors, but were especially robust in the auto sector which increased 6.7 percent over February. The strong consumer spending numbers augured well for overall economic growth as the US economy emerges from the worst recession since the Great Depression.