Retail sales increased in April following strengthening employment data, increasing housing prices and a record-breaking stock market, according to the National Retail Federation.
Retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from last month and 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.
Among the categories that showed unadjusted year-over-year growth were building material and garden equipment and supplies (7.7 percent); clothing and clothing accessories (3.5 percent); electronics and appliances (1.2 percent); furniture and home furnishings (6.4 percent); and sporting goods, hobby, book and music sales (4.5 percent).
“In the face of higher taxes and the sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, the NRF. “Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth.”