NRF: Holiday Shift Boosts April Retail Sales

The shift of the Easter and Passover holidays from March to April this year gave retail sales for the year’s fourth month a boost, according to the National Retail Federation.

Unadjusted year-over-year sales in April were up 5.2%. The figures exclude automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants.

As of April, the three-month moving average was up 2.9% over the same period a year ago, compared with 2.6% in March. April’s results build on gains of 1.1% month-over-month and 1% year-over-year seen in March.

NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said today that overall April sales— including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants— were up 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

Specifics from key retail sectors during April include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 11.9% year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 6.1% year-over-year.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 4.6% year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores were up 4.4% year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.7% year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were down 3.4% year-over-year.