World News: 16:00 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019. [National Retail Federation (NRF) via Businesswire via SPi World News]
Retail sales were down 0.2 percent in April seasonally adjusted from March but up 5.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Slower tax refunds and weather may have been key factors impacting April’s numbers, but the fundamentals remain positive, particularly in long-term comparisons,” NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz said, citing flooding in the middle of the country and blizzards and extreme temperature swings elsewhere along with a soft housing market that impacted sales of furniture, appliances and building materials. “Despite there being a lot of volatility in the data from month to month, the long-term comparisons look good and the three-month average in particular is getting stronger. We think we remain on track to meet our projections.”
The shift of Easter and Passover from March to April this year gave less of a month-over-month bump in spending than expected, but contributed to April’s strong year-over-year increase, Kleinhenz said.
As of April, the three-month moving average was up 2.9 percent over the same period a year ago, compared with 2.6 percent in March. April’s results build on gains of 1.1 percent month-over-month and 1 percent year-over-year seen in March.
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said today that overall April sales – including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants – were also down 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from March but were up 3.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
The results come as NRF’s preliminary forecast projects that retail sales during 2019 will increase between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent to more than $3.8 trillion. The forecast is subject to revision as more data is released in the coming months.
Specifics from key retail sectors during April include:
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. NRF.com
Business Wire: 16:00 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019
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