April Sees Retail Sales Increase Following Recent Declines

April Sees Retail Sales Increase Following Recent Declines

Retail Sales Up in April after Declines in March & February
Retail sales rose 0.4% in April. That comes after a decline of 0.7% over the last two months.

Why it matters: Even with the weakness in the previous two months, retail sales are well above where they were at the end of 2022 because of a huge 2.8% surge in spending in January. Consumers are still spending and still exhibiting remarkable resilience.

But: Consumers’ ability to spend is still likely to decline as the year goes on. Inflation is outpacing wage gains and savings are spent down while credit card balances have risen sharply.

By the numbers:

  • Sales were up at motor vehicles and parts dealers (0.4%), building material and garden supply stores (0.5%), health and personal care stores (0.9%), general merchandise stores (0.9%), miscellaneous stores (2.4%), and food and drinking places (0.6%).

  • Sales were down at furniture stores (0.7%), electronics and appliance stores (0.5%), food and beverage stores (0.2%), gas stations (0.8%), clothing and accessory stores (0.3%), and sporting goods and hobby stores (3.3%).

Be smart: As long as the job market remains robust and incomes remain steady, consumers will have money to spend, even if they are falling slightly behind inflation. This could keep spending stronger than in previous economic slowdowns.