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It snowed, we shopped (online)

It wasn’t just snowplow drivers who benefitted from the long, harsh winter. Online retailers did well too.

Cooped up at home, many of us turned to the Web to shop. Online purchases increased 3 percent in the first three months of this year compared with a year earlier. At the same time, in-store purchases slipped 5 percent, according to the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index.

Online spending for groceries spiked 20 percent and spending on fast food increased 12 percent, based on spending by Chase Freedom cardholders.

Travel spending was down at the start of the year but rebounded in March. Chase says spending on hotels, theme parks and car rental all showed double-digit spending increases compared with February.

The Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends based on Chase Freedom cardholder spending data. Chase is the U.S. banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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