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US Retail Sales Return to Growth in April

May 16, 2023
The U.S. Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates 10 times in a row since last year. The smaller increase in sales suggests the policy is beginning to have an impact.

Retail sales in the United States returned to growth in April, data released Tuesday showed, but not by as much as many had anticipated.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates 10 times in a row since last year in a bid to suppress demand and slow inflation. The smaller increase in sales suggests the policy is beginning to have an impact.

Retail sales rose by 0.4% in April from a month earlier to $686.1 billion, the Commerce Department said in a statement, up from a revised decline of 0.7% in March.

The sales figure was half of the median expectation of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

Sales were up 1.6% year-on-year.

While the headline figure for retail sales came in lower than expected, the one excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers was in line with analysts' expectations, showing a small rise after two months of declines.

"While this is good news, inflation's persistent impact on consumers is apparent in the year-on-year comparisons with significant drops in discretionary categories" like home furnishings and electronics, Morning Consult's retail and e-commerce analyst Claire Tassin said in a statement.

Copyright 2023, Agence France-Presse

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