Unseasonably warm weather in February and March, along with an early Easter holiday, shifted consumers’ spending appetite last month. Still, retailers reported positive growth in April.
According to the National Retail Federation, April retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) decreased 0.1% seasonally adjusted from March but increased 2.8% unadjusted year-over-year, marking 22 consecutive months of retail sales growth.
“Though consumer spending softened in April, retailers overall have seen solid sales growth so far this spring, a positive indicator we’re heading in the right direction,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “With 22 straight months of sustained retail sales growth, retailers are optimistic as they gear up for the all-important summer shopping season.”
Lawn and garden equipment dealers are saying the same thing. Spring broke a good month early in many parts of the country, helping dealers get off to a quick start. According to the NRF report, “building material and garden equipment and supplies dealer” sales decreased 1.8% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 9.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
Other findings from the April retail sales figures include:
- Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales decreased 0.7% seasonally adjusted month-to-month but increased 1.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 2.9% percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 0.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
Visit www.nrf.com for more information on the National Retail Federation.