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United States Retail April 2024

United States: Retail sales stagnate in April

Retail sales flatlined in month-on-month seasonally adjusted terms in April, which was a deterioration from March’s 0.6% increase and undershot market expectations for another expansion. The loss of momentum largely reflected a sharper fall in motor vehicle and parts dealers sales, as well as deteriorations in general merchandise stores and non-store retailers sales.

On an annual basis, retail sales increased 3.0% in April, which was below March’s 3.8% expansion. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth rose to 2.9% in April (March: +2.8%).

The loss of steam in retail sales in April chimes with our panelists’ forecasts of somewhat softer private consumption growth in Q2 versus Q1, though the Q2 private consumption expansion is still expected to be robust.

On the data, Desjardins’ Francis Généreux said:

“A slowdown in consumer spending is not so surprising: interest rates are still high and consumer confidence indexes have been waning for several months. Households also seem to have spent the excess savings they built up during the pandemic.”

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