Retail sales beat expectations to edge up 0.1% in April

Washington, D.C. -- Total retail sales increased 0.1% in April from March, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department. The increase, an improvement from a 0.5% decline in March, beat the 0.3% drop economists had predicted in a Bloomberg survey.  

Excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, sales  increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from last month and increased 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.

 “Today’s retail sales data is encouraging news,” said NRF chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz. “However positive, retail sales and consumer spending in April may not necessarily translate into a stronger or healthier second quarter. NRF continues to forecast moderate sales growth for the year.”

Other findings from the April retail sales report include:

  • Building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.5% seasonally adjusted and increased 7.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 1.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 1.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home-furnishing stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 6.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 1.0% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and decreased 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
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