Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF, commented on the rebound, stating, "Retail sales rebounded in April, reflecting consumer resilience in the face of elevated economic uncertainty. Moderating price levels, continued labour market strength, and wage gains have increased consumers' ability to spend. However, they remain cautious and concerned about the current economic environment. Retailers continue to provide competitive pricing and convenience to help cost-sensitive consumers stretch their budgets."
NRF's Chief Economist, Jack Kleinhenz, noted that consumers remained engaged in April but were still selective and price-sensitive in their purchasing habits. He expressed expectations of modest gains in spending throughout the year. Kleinhenz also highlighted that year-over-year growth had slowed, partly due to upward revisions to last year's data and early signs of tightening credit conditions and decreasing excess savings.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, overall retail sales in April rose by 0.4% compared to March and increased by 1.6% year over year. In March, sales experienced a month-over-month decline of 0.7% but still saw a year-over-year increase of 2.4%.
NRF's calculation of retail sales, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants to focus on core retail, indicated a 0.6% increase in April compared to March and a 2% increase year over year. In March, sales were down 0.7% month over month but up 3.4% year over year. NRF's numbers, based on a three-month moving average as of April, demonstrated a 3.7% increase year over year.