Retail sales inside United States fell in April, suggesting of which economic growth was sluggish as the second quarter began.
Retail sales declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in April via a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists had forecast sales to rise 0.2 percent.
Falling sales hit most major areas of retail, including online sales, autos, home along with garden centers, clothing shops, pharmacies, along with electronic stores.
Sales at gas stations were up although of which gain was due to higher gasoline prices. of which’s not generally viewed as positive for economic growth.
The weaker auto sales along with stronger gas station sales were both widely expected. although the decline in electronics along with appliance sales, following on a weak March, was not expected. Furniture store sales, which declined sharply in March, failed to bounce back along with were flat for the month.
Department store sales rose 0.7 percent, a bright spot in an otherwise glum report. Macy’s reported first-quarter earnings on Wednesday of which smashed analyst expectations to the upside. Its stock jumped on the news. Still, sales were below last year’s figures.
Americans did spend more eating out. Restaurants sales rose 0.2 percent on top of the huge March surge of 5.7 percent.
Excluding the volatile categories of autos along with gas, core retail sales fell 0.2 percent in April.
The s0-called “control group”–which excludes autos, gas, along with construction materials–was flat for the month. This particular is usually the figure of which feeds into calculations of gross domestic product. As a result, real-time estimates of second-quarter GDP growth are likely to decline after Wednesday’s report.
Retail sales for March were revised up to show 1.7 percent growth, although of which is usually old news of which will not help second-quarter GDP. Combined with February’s decline, these results highlight just how volatile retail sales have been This particular year. the idea is usually possible of which unseasonable weather along having a late Easter holiday is usually skewing the seasonally adjusted figures.
Some households reportedly received tax refunds of which were lower than expected due to lower withholding throughout the year. of which could have taken away some of the boost April sales typically get via taxpayers spending most of their refund checks.