US Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall

US retail trade dropped 0.2 percent from a month earlier in April 2019, following an upwardly revised 1.7 percent growth in March, which was the biggest increase in sales for one-and-a-half year. April's reading came in below market expectations of a 0.2 percent advance.

6 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month decreases.

Receipts at motor vehicle & parts dealers fell 1.1 percent, after a 3.2 percent increase in the previous month; and those at building material stores slumped 1.9 percent, reversing a 0.8 percent gain in March. In addition, sales at electronics and appliances stores were down 1.3 percent, following a 1.2 percent rise in the previous period. Sales also fell at: health & personal care stores (-0.2 percent vs 0.6 percent); clothing stores (-0.2 percent vs 2.1 percent); and online and mail-order trade (-0.2 percent vs 1 percent). Meanwhile, trade was unchanged at furniture & home furniture stores (vs 1 percent in March) and miscellaneous store retailers (vs 1.4 percent in March).

By contrast, receipts increased at: gasoline stations (1.8 percent vs 3.3 percent); hobby, musical instrument and book stores (0.2 percent vs -0.3 percent); restaurants and bars (0.2 percent vs 1 percent); food & beverage stores (0.2 percent vs 1.5 percent); and general merchandise stores (0.2 percent vs 0.7 percent)

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales were flat in April after a 1.1 percent rise in March.

Year-on-year, retail trade growth slowed to 3.1 percent from 3.8 percent in the previous month.

US Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall

US Census Bureau | Joana Ferreira |
5/15/2019 12:53:53 PM