Washington - April sales at consumer
electronics and appliance stores rose 3.8 percent to $8.5 billion year over year,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest retail tabulations.
The seasonally adjusted figures reflect
a slowly stabilizing economy, growing consumer confidence and the impact of the
government's $300 million appliance rebate program.
On a month-over-month basis, sales
for CE and majap dealers were essentially flat from March, edging up just 0.4
By comparison, total retail sales in
April, including restaurants and car dealerships, were up 9.6 percent year over
year and 0.5 percent from March.
"The slow road to recovery is
turning into a sprint as retailers experienced a nice bounce in April," observed
Matt Shay, president/CEO of the National Retail Foundation (NRF), an industry
trade association. "But maintaining this sales momentum will be challenging.
Until our economy begins to create jobs and reduce unemployment, the breadth
and sustainability of this recovery remains uncertain."
Added NRF chief economist Rosalind
Wells, "Spending on discretionary items had fallen by the wayside these last
few years and we are encouraged to see consumers dipping into that pot once