April’s rebound in retail sales is an indication of the tenacity of consumers despite prevailing economic uncertainties. The growth is attributed to moderating prices, a robust labor market, and wage growth, all bolstering consumers’ purchasing power. Caution persists among consumers, however, based on concerns about the economic climate. Retailers are responding by offering competitive prices and convenience to assist budget-conscious consumers.
Jack Kleinhenz, NRF Chief Economist, stated that consumers remained active in April, choosing to be selective and price-sensitive in their purchasing decisions. He anticipates that consumer spending will register modest improvements throughout the year. The slower year-over-year growth is somewhat attributed to last year’s upward data revisions and emerging signs of tightening credit conditions and diminishing excess savings.
Last week, data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that total retail sales in April rose 0.4% from March and 1.6% year over year. By contrast, March sales showed a 0.7% drop from the previous month but a 2.4% rise year over year.
Retail sales—excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants to concentrate on core retail—indicated that April witnessed a 0.6% month-over-month increase and a 2% year-over-year unadjusted growth. The three-month moving average in April showed a 3.7% unadjusted year-over-year increase. For comparison, March’s sales decreased 0.7% from February but rose 3.4% year over year.