The Department of Commerce issued some not-so-promising news of where consumer spending is headed. April’s retail sales were up only 0.1% after an increase of 0.7% the previous month.
Many economists and reports are hinting that March’s big retail sales increase was due mainly to the Easter holiday, which is usually in April. March also had spring break, which sees a boost in travel spending. Not having Easter in April may have had an adverse effect on sales for the month, according to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.
April, the first month of the U.S. government’s second quarter, has been the only month this year without a holiday. January had New Year’s Day and saw an increase of 0.6% in retail sales, while February, the month for Valentine’s Day, saw an increase of 1.0%.
May has one national holiday, Memorial Day, and recently had Mother’s Day, which was projected by the Consumer Retail Federation to bring in $18.6 billion in sales surpassing the $16.8 billion projection for Easter sales. The retail sales for May, as projected, should bring the numbers back up with the first quarter trend.
May will be followed up by June, which has Father’s Day as its only significant holiday. The final month of the second quarter, July, could boost sales with its national holiday of Independence Day.
Retail spending has increased by 6.4% from a year ago, according to the MarketWatch report.
-Dustin Bass, @dbass_cmn