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NRF: U.S. retail sales rose in April


May 16, 2008
By National Retail Federation

May 16, 2008, Washington – After several months of lackluster sales, U.S. retailers finally have a reason to cheer.

After
several months of lackluster sales, U.S. retailers finally have a
reason to cheer. According to the National Retail Federation, retail
industry sales for April (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and
restaurants) rose 2.3 per cent unadjusted over last year and 0.6 per
cent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.
 
April retail sales released Tuesday by the U.S. Commerce Department
show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise
categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased
0.2 per cent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased
2.6 per cent unadjusted year-over-year.
 
“While it’s apparent that consumers are still holding back, the spring
season helped get people back into stores,” said NRF Chief Economist
Rosalind Wells. “The month-to-month sales increase was the largest
we’ve seen since last November, a much welcomed reprieve.”
 
As consumers continue to stick to necessity-type purchases, sales in
health and beauty care stores increased a solid 3.1 per cent unadjusted
year-over-year and 0.4 per cent seasonally adjusted from last month.
 
Thanks to the onset of spring-like weather in much of the country,
building material, garden equipment and supplies stores had slight
sales increases for the first time in months. Sales increased 1.9 per
cent seasonally adjusted from March and 1.2 per cent unadjusted
year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales also
saw healthy increases. Sales rose 4.7 per cent unadjusted
year-over-year and 0.4 per cent seasonally adjusted from last month.
 
Electronics and appliance stores sales increased 5.1 per cent
unadjusted from last year and 1.4 per cent seasonally adjusted from
March. Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales increased 0.7 per
cent seasonally adjusted from last month and 0.5 percent unadjusted
year-over-year.

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