US April Retail Sales Grew As Consumers Adapted To Higher Prices

US consumers accustomed to inflation continued to spend in April as retail sales overcame higher prices to show both monthly and year-over-year increases, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.

“April retail sales demonstrate consumer strength and willingness to spend despite persistent inflation, supply chain constraints, market volatility and global unrest,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While consumers are facing higher prices, they are preserving their budgets by shopping smart.”

“April’s retail sales data is encouraging because it shows consumers are taking higher prices in stride and remain resilient,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Sales benefited from Easter/Passover spending and also from tax refunds, which have been delayed by pandemic-related issues at the IRS but are also larger than usual. High gasoline prices, rising interest rates and price pressures across the board continue to be headwinds to spending, but wage and job gains are offsetting that with a tailwind that should bode well for moderate-but-steady spending growth going forward.”

The US Census Bureau said overall retail sales in April were up 0.9% seasonally adjusted from March and up 8.2% year over year. That compared with increases of 1.4% month over month and 7.3% year over year in March.

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