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In March, retail sales saw their largest monthly increase in a year and a half. - 

Americans bought a lot of stuff last month. So much, in fact, that retail sales rose more in March than they have in any other month in the last year and a half. Eugenio J. Alemán, senior economist at Wells Fargo joins us to discuss.

Over the weekend, members of Congress fanned out across the country for a two-week Easter recess. You're thinking Mai Tais on the beach? "Probably not," says Riva Litman, a staffer with the House Republican Conference. "Especially not in Eastern Washington." In an election year, breaks from the Hill are a key time to drum up support - and money - back home.

And, in France, companies and labor unions have come up with a plan to give certain employees a daily rest from emailing, texting or other electronic communication -- an 11 hour rest. If approved by the French government the limits would apply to about a quarter-million consulting, software and other workers. The BBC's Hugh Schofield has been following the development and joins us to talk about it.

Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio