NRF: Retail sales unchanged

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Michele Vaughan (right) recieves gift-giving advice from an employee at Little Richad’s Toy Store, which recorded strong sales last weekend.

Despite nicer spring weather, consumers tempered their retail spending in April, according to the National Retail Federation.

April retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, were unchanged seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, yet increased 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“The shift in Easter to April did not provide enough bounce to retailers, as retail sales struggled to keep their strong spring pace,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With consumer spending amounting for roughly 70 percent of total economic activity, NRF remains hopeful that the uninspiring April retail sales figures are just a temporary seasonal fluctuation.”

The retail sales in April that include automobiles, gasoline and restaurants increased 0.1 percent, according to the NRF.

Additional findings include:

• Building material and garden equipment and supply stores’ sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.7 percent year-over-year.

• Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 2.3 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales decreased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Nonstore retailers’ sales decreased 0.9 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 5.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.7 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 0.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.