U.S. Retail Spending Unchanged in April -- Update
By Amara Omeokwe
U.S. retail sales were flat in April as shoppers pulled back on
goods purchases while boosting spending on services.
The moderation in spending came as the recovery continued to
build strength, though with signs of unevenness. The slower pace of
spending followed a burst from earlier in the spring when stimulus
money arrived at most households.
Retail sales--a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants
and online--overall were unchanged last month from March, the
Commerce Department reported Friday. That was short of economists'
expectations for a 0.8% increase and well below the upwardly
revised 10.7% advance in March.
Shoppers last month reined in spending across a wide range of
retail categories, such as clothing and accessories, furniture,
sporting goods and general merchandise stores.
Meanwhile, sales were up at restaurants and bars, by 3%, a
positive sign for the hard-hit industry as the American economy
more fully opens.
The surge in retail spending earlier in March came as the
government distributed hundreds of billions in direct cash payments
to households. That was similar to a large jump in retail sales
during January, following a separate round of direct payments
authorized by Congress at the end of 2020.
Write to Amara Omeokwe at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 14, 2021 09:02 ET (13:02 GMT)
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