Retail Sales Climb in April to 389.4 Billion

Posted by BBC News on May 12th, 2011 and filed under Business News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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Retail sales rose 0.5% in April to a seasonally adjusted $389.4 billion, the Commerce Department projected Thursday. March sales were revised up to show 0.9% growth from an initial estimate of 0.4% growth; February sales were improved higher as well.

Compared with April 2010, sales are up 7.6%. Excluding a 0.2% increase in sales of motor vehicles, retail store sales rose 0.6% for April.

Economists had expected a solid increase, primarily based on previous reports from sellers and from auto makers. Ahead of the report, economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been looking for month-to-month sales growth of 0.7%.

Nonetheless the sales report was a “something of a double-edged sword,” Dales mentioned.

The upward revision to both February and March implie that first-quarter gross domestic product could be adjusted higher than the initially estimate of a 1.8% annualized growth rate.

“But in April, it looks as though real spending stalled,” Dales said.

This is a important issue, no matter if consumer spending in the second quarter might match the inflation-adjusted 2.7% growth in the first three months of the year.

Retail store sales account for about 50 percent of total consumer spending and about a 3rd of final product sales in the U.S. financial state.

The April sales survey suggests that user spending starts the second quarter at a softer-than-expected pace but there are two months outstanding and if gasoline prices drop, real spending might pick up.

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