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tiptrot.com June 26, 2017


US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

13 May 2017, 01:16 | Cedric Leonard

US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

Pickup in US retail sales adds to steady consumer spending

Sales in the non-store retail sector, which includes pure-play e-commerce, increased by 12% in April to $51.4 billion, the thirteenth straight month of double-digit increases.

On a 12-month smoothed basis, retail sales rose by 4.1%, their smallest increase in eight months.

April sales for furniture and home furnishings retailers jumped 3.8% from the same month a year ago, lagging behind the 4.5% gain for the broader retail sector.

Americans stepped up their spending at auto dealers, hardware stores and e-commerce outlets as retail sales rebounded from two sluggish months. April retail sales, it explained, were driven by online and other non-store sellers, electronics stores, and building materials and supplies.

Department stores, a sub-category of general merchandise stores, continued to lose the most ground of any subcategory, as April sales dipped 3.7% from April a year ago, but sales were up 0.2% from the month before.


Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food service, edged up by 0.2% in April after climbing by 0.7% in March. Gasoline stations sales were up 12.3% from April 2016, while Nonstore Retailers were up 11.9% from previous year. Gauges of consumer and business confidence remain high following last year's presidential election; the University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment was up 9% in April compared with a year earlier.

Retail trade sales increased 0.4% from March and are up 4.5% from a year ago.

While retail is in a state of flux, the source of those difficulties is not mainly due to a major slowdown in consumer spending, Saunders said. On Wednesday Macy's reported sharply lower sales and profits, causing a collapse in its share price. Over the past year, nonstore sales rose 11.9% and department-store sales fell 3.7%.

By many accounts, retail sales picked up in the later part of the first quarter of 2017; J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison made a note of that in his statement on the company's report Friday morning.



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