May 13, 2014

Retail sales up slightly in April

May 14, 2014 – Total retail sales, which increased slightly in April, are expected to keep growing as the economy keeps improving, NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long said Tuesday.

In April, retail sales rose 0.1 percent since March, and data for March was revised upward to a 1.5 percent increase.

NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long analyzed data from the Census Bureau in a Macro Data Flash. "Monthly retail sales moderated in April after strong growth in March," Long wrote. "Retail sales growth remained strong on a year-over-year basis, growing 4 percent in April. Total retail sales growth has varied throughout the year as different segments led sales each month.

"Retail sales is expected to grow as the rest of the economy continues to improve throughout the year," Long predicted.

Core retail sales, excluding light vehicles and gasoline, went down 0.1 percent in April while auto and gas retail sales went up 0.6 percent. Among the major retail segments, clothing and accessories stores had the most growth at 1.2 percent, while electronics and appliances stores saw the biggest drop with a decrease of 2.3 percent.