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U.S. Markets

U.S. applications to start a business rebound moderately in March

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Applications to start new U.S. businesses rebounded moderately in March as economic activity picked up amid a continued improvement in the public health situation.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that business applications rose 3.4% to a seasonally adjusted 440,165 last month. The increase, however, recouped only a fraction of February’s 13.0% tumble. The data is derived from business applications for tax identifications.

There were a seasonally adjusted 52,099 applications from corporations, up 5.7% from February. Applications for businesses with planned wages totaled 53,213, an increase of 3.6% from the prior month. Overall, business applications rose in all four regions last month.

The increase in applications was in all industries, with the exception of retail, which recorded a 5.3% decline.

Increased vaccinations have allowed more parts of the economy to reopen. That, together with additional pandemic relief money from the government is boosting domestic demand.

Based on March’s figures, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau, which compiles the report, projected about 32,614 new business startups with payroll tax liabilities would form within four quarters of application, up 4.1% compared to the estimates for February.

Reporting By Lucia Mutikani

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