US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

US retail sales rebounded in April after sluggish winter

Excluding auto sales, April's retail sales increase was 0.3% including food sales and 0.4% not including food sales.

"The backdrop is generally favourable for consumers, with an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent, gradually improving wage pressures, low borrowing costs and high household wealth", Michelle Meyer and other Bank of America economists wrote in a note before the data.

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores had the next largest percentage decrease, down 2.4% from April a year ago, while general merchandise stores - the sector under which department stores fall - saw a 0.7% decrease. In the first three months of the year, the retailer's net sales dropped 3.7% to $2.71bn - the third quarter in a row they have fallen.

Sales at US retailers rose in April, and March sales were stronger than originally estimated, painting a stronger picture of American consumers than previously reported.

Figures from the Commerce Department showed United States retail sales rose by 0.4% last month, although economists had been looking for a rise of 0.6%.

Purchases rose 0.4 per cent after a 0.1 per cent increase the prior month.




Sales fell in April for department stores by 0.2%, furniture by 0.5%, clothing and accessories by 0.5%, and grocery by 0.4%.

Purchases also improved at internet retailers, restaurants, sporting goods stores and building materials outlets. That is a major number and clearly can not be overlooked, especially when looking at how closely connected retail and consumer activity is tied to the freight transportation and logistics sectors on so many fronts, including trucking, intermodal, parcel, ocean, air, and e-commerce.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are suffering through their worst patch since the Great Recession. Retailers slashed jobs at the sharpest pace in seven years this spring.

Shares in JC Penney sank 10% after it became the latest department store chain to report disappointing results.

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