U.S. retail sales stalled in April following a sharp advance in the prior month when pandemic-relief checks provided millions of Americans with increased spending power.
The value of overall retail purchases were essentially unchanged last month following an upwardly revised 10.7 percent gain in March that was the second-largest in records back to 1992, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1 percent April gain.
The total value of retail sales was a record $619.9 billion in April, supporting economists’ forecasts for strong household spending for the remainder of the year.
While consumers may begin shift more of their spending money to services such as entertainment and travel as pandemic fears dissipate, elevated savings supported by fiscal stimulus should underpin retail demand.