A new report has some very good news for the economy.
Retail sales posted their best monthly gain in a year, indicating that the U.S. consumers may be showing some positive signs finally.
The department store industry had been hammered in recent months, with huge sales declines at Macy’s, Kohl’s, and other retailers, but this new report is a ray of sunshine, according to a CNBC report.
Government data showed that retail sales jumped 1.3 percent compared to March, which beat forecasts.
Retail sales still showed a 0.9 percent when automobiles, gasoline, and building materials were eliminated from the equation. Total retail sales are 3 percent higher on a seasonably adjusted basis compared to last year.
Here is the Advance Monthly Sales statement from the Census Bureau:
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $453.4 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, and 3.0 percent (±0.7%) above April 2015. Total sales for the February 2016 through April 2016 period were up 2.8 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The February 2016 to March 2016 percent change was revised from down 0.4 percent (±0.5%)* to down 0.3 percent (±0.2%). Retail trade sales were up 1.4 percent (±0.5%) from March 2016, and up 2.7 percent (±0.5%) from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 10.2 percent (±1.2%) from April 2015, while gasoline stations were down 9.4 percent (±1.6%) from last year. The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 4,700 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms. For an explanation of the measures of sampling variability included in this report, please see the Reliability of Estimates section on the last page of this publication.