Shoppers barely kept up with inflation in April, as retail sales increased but fell short of expectations, CNBC reports. The advanced sales report for April showed an increase of 0.4 percent, below the Dow Jones estimate for 0.8 percent. Excluding auto-related figures, sales increased 0.4 percent, which was in line with expectations.
“Retail sales posted a modest rebound in April, but the gain mostly reflected higher prices and a sustained turnaround is unlikely with consumer fundamentals turning less supportive,” Lydia Boussour, Senior Economist at EY-Parthenon, told the cable news network.
Miscellaneous store retailers experienced the largest gain, at 2.4 percent, followed by online sales’ rise of 1.2 percent, health/personal care retailers’ bump of 0.9 percent and food and drink sales’ climb of 0.6 percent.
On the downside, an 0.8 percent drop in gasoline sales held back the spending figures. Sporting goods, music and book stores posted a 3.3 percent decline, while furniture and home furnishings saw a 0.7 percent drop.
Though the report indicated consumers are struggling, it was the first positive reading since January.
Click here for the full CNBC report.