NRF sees momentum in April consumer buying
-- Home Textiles Today, 5/14/2010 1:05:00 PM
Washington -- The National Retail Federation said recent monthly sales gains show a broad advance in consumer confidence, although one that will be “challenging” to maintain.
April total retail volume -- excluding auto, gasoline and restaurant sales -- was up 0.5% seasonally adjusted over March and 4.6% unadjusted over last year, according to new Commerce Department figures, the NRF said. The trade group also pointed out that March and April combined retail volume (which better reflects the shifting Easter holiday) rose 5.6% unadjusted over 2009.
“The slow road to recovery is turning into a sprint as retailers experienced a nice bounce in April,” said NRF president and ceo Matt Shay. “But maintaining this sales momentum will be challenging. Until our economy begins to create jobs and reduce unemployment, the breadth and sustainability of this recovery remains uncertain.”
“Spring shopping and seasonal weather helped boost sales last month,” commented Rosalind Wells, chief economist, NRF. “Spending on discretionary items had fallen by the wayside these last few years and we are encouraged to see consumers dipping into that pot once again.”
Of particular importance to home furnishings merchants, the NRF noted that building material and garden equipment stores registered the most robust gains, “with sales increasing 6.9% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 14.1% unadjusted year-over-year.”
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