Despite Rise in April Retail Sales, NRF Still Forecasts Lackluster 2013 Growth

U.S. retail sales in April (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) edged up 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from March and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year, reported the National Retail Federation.
 
Consumers gained confidence from rising employment figures, housing prices on the up and record stock market levels, the NRF said.
 
“In the face of higher taxes and sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth.”
 
“Today’s retail sales data is encouraging news,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinherz. “However positive, retail sales and consumer spending in April may not necessarily translate into a stronger or healthier second quarter. NRF continues to forecast moderate sales growth for the year.”