“In the face of higher taxes and sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “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.”
A report released on Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed retail and food service sales, which included automobiles, gas retailers and restaurants, rose 0.1 percent from March and increased 3.7 percent year-over-year.
Building and garden material stores saw sales increase by 1.5 percent from the previous month and 7.7 percent year-over year. Clothing and accessories retailers posted a 1.2 percent month-to-month increase, a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase.
Electronics and appliance retailers and general merchandise stores also saw sales increases, while furniture and home furnishing sales remained flat and health and personal care sales fell slightly.
“[The] retail sales data is encouraging news,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “However positive, retail sales and consumer spending in April may not necessarily translate into a stronger or healthier second quarter. NRF continues to forecast moderate sales growth for the year.”