Retail Sales for April “I’m gonna pop some tags…”
Advance Retail Sales
Retail Sales Less Autos
Retail Sales Ex Auto & Gas
Retail Sales "Control Group"
Retail Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Increase on Broad-Based Gains
Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in April reflecting broad-based gains that may ease concern consumers are holding back. The 0.1 percent increase followed a 0.5 percent drop in March. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.3 percent drop. The figures used to calculate growth, which exclude categories such as automobiles, also advanced.
The figures may prompt economists to forecast spending this quarter will cool less than previously projected as Americans overcome the January increase in the payroll tax. Lower fuel costs combined with rising stock and home values also are helping boost buying power, which will help underpin purchases as the labor market mends. The reading for March was revised from an initially reported decline of 0.4 percent.
Nine of 13 major categories showed gains last month, led by a 1.2 percent advance at clothing stores, the biggest in more than a year. Receipts at general merchandise, which include department stores, climbed 1 percent, the most since March 2012. Sales at automobile dealers also improved, which is at odds
with the industry data that came out earlier this month.
Cars and light trucks sold at a 14.9 million annual pace in April, down from a 15.2 million rate the prior month, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group. The average for the first quarter was 15.3 million, the strongest since the same period in 2008 and a sign the longer-term outlook remains positive. Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC said sales increased in April from the same month last year.
A drop in receipts at service stations restrained the gains. The decrease probably reflected lower gasoline prices
because the data aren’t adjusted for inflation. A gallon of regular gasoline at the pump averaged $3.55 in April, lower than March’s $3.69. The price peaked at a four-month high of $3.79 on February 26, according to AAA, the
biggest U.S. auto group.
Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, which are the figures used to calculate gross domestic product, sales climbed 0.5 percent after a 0.1 percent increase in the previous month. The figures for March and February were revised up.