NRF: Retail shows improvement in April

WASHINGTON According to the National Retail Federation, April retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted over March and 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year. Sales for the combined March-April period increased 5.6% unadjusted over last year.

“The slow road to recovery is turning into a sprint as retailers experienced a nice bounce in April,” said NRF president and CEO Matt Shay. “But maintaining this sales momentum will be challenging. Until our economy begins to create jobs and reduce unemployment, the breadth and sustainability of this recovery remains uncertain.”

 

“Spring shopping and seasonal weather helped boost sales last month,” said Rosalind Wells, chief economist for NRF. “Spending on discretionary items had fallen by the wayside these last few years and we are encouraged to see consumers dipping into that pot once again.”

 

Building material and garden equipment stores saw the biggest improvement with sales increasing 6.9% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 14.1% unadjusted year-over-year. Health and personal care stores sales increased 0.9% seasonally adjusted from last month and 3.3% unadjusted year-over-year.

Clothing and clothing accessory store sales decreased 1% seasonally adjusted from March but increased 5.4% unadjusted year-over-year. Electronics and appliance store sales decreased 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.4% unadjusted from last year.