May 21st, 2024

Retail sales were unchanged in April from March as inflation and interest rates curb spending


By Anne D'innocenzio, The Associated Press on May 15, 2024.

FILE - A customer checks out of a Walmart store Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Englewood, Colo. On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, the Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for April. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Retail sales in April were unchanged from March as inflation continued to sting and elevated interest rates made taking on debt more burdensome.

The number following a revised 0.6% pace in March, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday. It rose 0.9% in February. That comes after sales fell 1.1% in January, dragged down in part by inclement weather.

Excluding gas prices and auto sales, retail sales fell 0.1%

Online sales were down 1.2%, while business at electronics stores was up 1.5%. Sales at home furnishings stores slipped 0.5%.

The data offers only a partial look at consumer spending because it excludes things like travel and lodging. However at restaurants, the lone service category tracked in the monthly retail sales report, sales rose 0.2% from March.

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