United States: Retail sales decelerate in April as spring rebound falters
May 13, 2014
In April, retail sales increased a tepid 0.1% over the previous month in nominal terms. The print was down from the significant 1.5% expansion recorded in March (previously reported: +1.1% month-on-month) and came in below market expectations of a 0.4% rise. High consumer demand which was pent-up during the harsh winter, drove March's large expansion. The momentum did not carry forward further, though, as is reflected in April's weak result. A drop in sales at electronics and appliance stores, restaurants and furniture retailers drove the deceleration.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas-a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index-contracted 0.1% over the previous month in April. The reading contrasted the 1.4% expansion recorded in March (previously reported: +1.0% mom) and market expectations of a 0.4% increase.
Retail sales rose 4.0% compared to the same month last year and came in just below the revised 4.1% increase recorded in March (previously reported: +3.8% year-on-year). The annual trend was steady, with annual average growth in retail sales holding at March's 3.8% in April.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 2.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.7%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist