Consumers Stick to the Basics
News of the economy's turnaround — albeit slow — may have proven to be premature, as April's retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) decreased 0.4 percent from March and 1.7 percent from last April, according to the National Retail Federation. These numbers reflect the growing trend among consumers of cutting back discretionary spending. Here are some more figures included in the NRF's report:
- sales at building material, garden equipment and supplies dealers increased 0.3 percent from March but decreased 10.5 percent year over year;
- sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales increased 0.3 percent over March but decreased 2.4 percent from last April;
- sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.4 percent month to month and 5.4 percent year over year;
- electronic and appliance stores sales decreased 2.8 percent from March and were down 11.9 percent from last year;
- clothing and accessories stores sales decreased 0.5 percent month to month and fell 3 percent year over year; and
- sales at grocery stores decreased 1.1 percent from March but increased 0.5 percent over last year.
For more information, go to www.nrf.com.