Retail sales excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants rose 0.6 percent in April seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Strengthening employment data, increasing housing prices and a record-breaking stock market may have provided consumers the confidence they needed to shop last month.
“In the face of higher taxes and sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth.”
April retail sales, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food services sales, which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.
Other findings from the April retail sales report include:
- Building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.5 percent seasonally-adjusted and increased 7.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 1.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 6.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise stores’ sales increased 1.0 seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 2.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Health and personal care stores’ sales were decreased 0.1 seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and flat unadjusted year-over-year.
- Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 19.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs–42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.