Retail Sales April 2024

Jun 25, 2024 | Macro Insights, No Bull Economics

April Retail Sales Breakdown Post Banner

April retail sales increased +3.3% y/y, which represented an increase from March’s +1.7% y/y growth. Additionally, the CPI inflation growth rate declined from +3.48% in March to +3.36% in April. Taken together, this looks like an improvement except for the fact that inflation remains elevated from January’s +3.09% reading. Also, we recognize that April’s real (inflation-adjusted) retail spending growth rate was slightly negative. Further, May’s advanced retail sales growth rate is reading a lower +2.3% rate, down from April’s +3.3% reading.

Commentary

  • April’s retail sales numbers show consumers continuing to eat out at a healthy pace as they cut back on grocery store spending. In any case, restaurant spending growth has slowed from late 2023 levels.
  • We can also see from the table below that consumers had to allocate more spending towards fixing their aging cars in April by cutting back on their clothing budget.
  • This is consistent with the theme of many retail management teams which suggest that while the consumer still has money to spend, they are making trade-off budget decisions.  

Monthly Retail Sales Update Chart

Retail Sales & CPI Graph

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