NRF: April marks 10th month of sales gains
HTT Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 5/12/2011 12:55:34 PM
Washington D.C. - Retail sales posted a 10th consecutive monthly gain in April, an indication that an economic recovery in the sector is continuing.
According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales - which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants - last month grew 0.2% seasonally adjusted from March and 4.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
Still, NRF noted, the gain is modest - evidence of the growing impact of higher food and gas costs on the consumer.
"With 10 consecutive months of growth, retailers are on the front lines of economic recovery, though higher commodity prices are beginning to weigh on some consumers," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and ceo. "For the retail industry to continue to lead the charge, Congress must address the legislative uncertainty from issues like credit card company ‘swipe' fees, uncompetitive tax laws, and the new health care law."
Added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz: "Positive economic indicators such as increases in job openings and wage growth are certainly helping boost consumers' confidence, and support spending. While there are reasons to be optimistic, plenty of other concerns exist which could very easily shift consumers' spending habits, including decreasing home prices, high unemployment levels and rising costs at the pump."
April retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales - which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted over March and 7.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
Home furnishing and building material stores felt the pinch last month, both seeing only slight or no gains. Sales at furniture stores decreased 1.1% seasonally adjusted over March and increased 1.0% unadjusted year-over-year. Building material and garden equipment stores sales increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month but decreased 5.6% unadjusted over April of last year.
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