Report: April Retail Sales Rise 2.1%

Chicago ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported that April retail sales rose 2.1% while the company’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported total U.S. foot traffic increased 5.8% for the same time period.

Although the 2008 calendar shift – which placed Easter in March as opposed to April of 2007 – makes the year-over-year comparison difficult, the report said, post-Easter shopping appeared to drive spending early in the month.

Mother’s Day spending, early graduation shopping and the warmer weather experienced throughout most of the country also fueled consumer spending, helping boost both the April sales and traffic figure.

“Despite a sustained increase in gasoline prices throughout the month, the American consumer continued to visit their favorite retail locations to spend throughout April, which was an encouraging sign for the retail industry,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Looking forward, retailers will be paying close attention to May and June performance, hoping Memorial Day weekend, Father’s Day and graduation spending help boost monthly performance, ultimately leading to a healthy Q2 in 2008.”

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