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CE/Majap Retail Sales Slip 3.5% In April

Washington – April sell-through at CE and appliance stores fell 3.5 percent year-over-year to an estimated $8.5 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

Sales for the channel were essentially flat from March, edging down 0.4 percent.

By comparison, April sales at furniture store were up 1.5 percent; sales for e-tailers and other direct sellers rose 6.3 percent; and total retail sales, excluding food service and automotive, were down 0.1 percent for the month.

“Retail sales disappointed in April,” acknowledged Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group. He described consumer spending as “anemic.”

Kleinhenz said employment gains, wage and salary increases, low gas prices, and greater savings should theoretically drive greater spending during the back half of the year. However, “The jury is still out,” he said.

The Commerce Department tallies are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences.