Retail sales and food-service spending rose 0.9 percent in April, after a 1.4 percent gain in March, up 8.2 percent from a year earlier (see first chart). Today’s retail sales data includes annual revisions. Revised data now shows a strong upward trend for total and core retail sales.
In addition, this information is not adjusted for price changes. In fact, after a 0.2 percent increase in March, total retail sales rose 0.6 percent (adjusted using CPI) and are now showing a stronger upward trend (see Chart 2).
Key retail sales, excluding motor vehicle dealers and petrol retailers, rose 1.0 percent month-on-month after a 1.2 percent gain in March (see first chart). Profits surpass that measure with a profit of 8.2 percent from a year earlier. After adjusting for price changes, real core retail sales rose 0.5 percent in April, the fourth consecutive month in a row, and up 2.0 percent from a year earlier (see Chart 2).
The divisions were higher for most months in April with nine up and four down. Profits led to a 4.0 percent increase in miscellaneous store retailers. Nonstore retailers and automotive retailers grew 2.2 percent, while food service and beverage establishments (restaurants) grew 2.0 percent.
Petrol spending led the decline, down 2.7 percent for the month. However, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $ 4.37, down 0.7 percent from 40 4.40 in March, responsible for some price changes. Sales of sporting goods, hobbies, musical instruments, and bookstores were down 0.5 percent, and food and beverage stores were down 0.2 percent (see Chart 3).
Overall, retail sales increased for the month and revised data showed a strong trend in recent months. However, rising prices are still encouraging numbers. In addition, the ever-increasing rate of price rise has begun to have a negative effect on consumer sentiment.
With persistent labor shortages, material shortages and logistical problems, production recovery across the economy as a whole can slow down and maintain upward pressure on prices. Also, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, renewed lockdown in China, and a new Fed austerity cycle remain threats to economic expansion. The outlook has become extremely uncertain.