Auto sales drive retail sales increases in April
May 20, 2002,
Lifted by a strong spurt in auto sales, overall retail sales surged by 1.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted level of $300.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported, the biggest one-month gain since October 2001.
Fueling the surge in retail sales was a big 1.9 percent increase in big-ticket auto sales, the industry's strongest showing since last October.
With warmer weather signaling spring cleaning and do-it-yourself season, sales at building supply and garden stores, including home improvement centers, advanced a strong 2.7 percent.
But giving up some of the strong gains they rung up in recent months were home goods retailers. Sales at furniture and home furnishings retailers sagged by 1.4 percent, and the recently hot electronics and appliances channel managed a skimpy 0.1 percent increase.
Retail Sales in April (by channel)
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Building materials & garden supplies||+2.7%|
|Health & personal care||+1.9|
|Clothing & accessories||+0.7|
|Restaurants & bars||+0.6|
|Electronics & appliances||+0.1|
|Furniture and home furnishings||-1.4%|
|Food & beverage stores||-0.2|
|Sporting goods, hobby, books & music||-0.1|