Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

US retail sales return to growth in April

US retail sales return to growth in April

WASHINGTON: Retail sales in the United States returned to growth in April, data released Tuesday showed, but not by as much as many had anticipated.

The US Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates 10 times in a row since last year in a bid to suppress demand and slow inflation. The smaller increase in sales suggests the policy is beginning to have an impact, reports AFP.

Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in April from a month earlier to $686.1 billion, the Commerce Department said in a statement, up from a revised decline of 0.7 percent in March.

The sales figure was half of the median expectation of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

Sales were up 1.6 percent year-on-year.

While the headline figure for retail sales came in lower than expected, the one excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers was in line with analysts' expectations, showing a small rise after two months of declines.

"While this is good news, inflation's persistent impact on consumers is apparent in the year-on-year comparisons with significant drops in discretionary categories" like home furnishings and electronics, Morning Consult's retail and e-commerce analyst Claire Tassin said in a statement.