Despite an ongoing surge in prices April’s retail sales rose about in line with Wall Street expectations.
Monthly sales rose 0.9% overall, just below the estimate for a 1% increase, the Commerce Department reported. Excluding autos, sales increased 0.6%, which was better than the 0.4% estimate.
April’s good results added to a positive trend. March’s spending was revised higher from the original estimate of a 0.5% increase to a 1.4% gain.
Gains in April were powered by a 4% increase from miscellaneous retail and a 2.1% jump in online sales. Bar and restaurant sales rose 19% from a year ago, when the economy was still struggling with covid-related restrictions.
Results are consistent with an economy that continues to grow despite inflation pressures. On an annualized basis, the consumer price index rose 8.3%.
A separate report released by the Fed showed that industrial production rose 1.1% in April, well above the 0.5% Dow Jones estimate. Capacity utilization increased to 79%, slightly ahead of the 78.6% estimate.
Production at auto plants increased 3.9% last month after accelerating 8.3% in March.