teknolojiarsivi.com May 22, 2018

US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

13 May 2017, 01:18 | Vickie Mathis

US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

Pickup in US retail sales adds to steady consumer spending

U.S. retail sales increased 0.4 percent in April and 4.5 percent from the same time previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. March sales rose 0.1%, and sales in February were down 0.2%.

Retail sales excluding autos rose 0.3 per cent for a second month.

Retail sales growth slowed again in April compared to recent months, dragged down by a drop in department and apparel specialty store performance.

Retail sales improved in April, suggesting stronger USA consumer spending this spring that should bolster broader economic growth. April retail sales, it explained, were driven by online and other non-store sellers, electronics stores, and building materials and supplies.

Meanwhile, sales at sporting goods and hobby stores accelerated by 0.6% in the month, although declined 2.4% on the year before.

Americans ate out more, boosting spending at restaurants and bars 0.4 percent. Commerce reported that nonstore retailers April sales increased 11.9 percent annually.

Consumer confidence has soared since the presidential election, but spending hasn't increased as much as the jump in optimism would suggest. And total retail sales from February through April were up 4.7 percent annually, according to Commerce.

Sales at gasoline stations increased 0.2% during the month, but are up 12.3% from a year ago. And inflation has ticked up, eroding most of that wage gain.

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores had the next largest percentage decrease, down 2.4% from April past year, while general merchandise stores - the sector under which department stores fall - saw a 0.7% decrease.

"Retail is in a state of flux and is facing many challenges, but the source of these difficulties is not, primarily, a function of consumers spending less".

In a report emailed to Retail Dive earlier this week, Retail Metrics analyst Ken Perkins compares retailers' situation to the troubles retailers faced coming out of the Great Recession eight years ago.

The costs related to the store closures and severance packages was partly responsible for Penney's net loss more than doubling to $180 million, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 29.

Still, retail chains have announced thousands of store closures so far this year, and some have filed for bankruptcy protection, as US shoppers increasingly shift their spending to online platforms from physical storefronts and malls. Stronger March data than originally reported may help boost U.S. GDP, which showed a 0.7% pace of growth in the government's first estimate.

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