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Retail sales show resiliency in April, NRF

14
May '08
After several months of lackluster sales, retailers finally have a reason to cheer. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for April (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 2.3 percent unadjusted over last year and 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.

April retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased 2.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“While it's apparent that consumers are still holding back, the spring season helped get people back into stores,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “The month-to-month sales increase was the largest we've seen since last November, a much welcomed reprieve.”

As consumers continue to stick to necessity-type purchases, sales in health and beauty care stores increased a solid 3.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from last month.

Thanks to the onset of spring-like weather in much of the country, building material, garden equipment and supplies stores had slight sales increases for the first time in months. Sales increased 1.9 percent seasonally adjusted from March and 1.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales also saw healthy increases. Sales rose 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from last month.

Electronics and appliance stores sales increased 5.1 percent unadjusted from last year and 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted from March. Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from last month and 0.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

National Retail Federation


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