US retail and food services sales in April 2009 declined 0.4 percentage points from March 2009 and 10.1 percentage points from April 2008, according to estimates from the US Census Bureau, Retailer Daily reports.
Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, US retail and food services sales totaled $337.7 billion in April 2009. This compares with $344.4 billion in March 2009 and $378.1 billion in April 2008. Total sales for February through April 2009 were down 9.2 percentage points from the same period in 2007-08.
Retail segments that showed significant sales declines included gasoline stations, whose sales were down 36.4% from April 2008, and motor vehicle and parts dealers, whose sales were down 20.7% from April 2008.
According to the Same-Store Sales Index (pdf), during April 2009, the discount, fast food and drugstore verticals all reported improved same-store sales while the home improvement vertical reported significant declines and the supermarket vertical reported mixed results.
Recent news on consumer employment, confidence and spending statistics have been mixed. Positive economic developments include a significant jump in the Consumer Confidence Index and slow but steady growth in the Restaurant Performance Index. On the negative side, U.S unemployment rose, the Employment Trends Index went down, and the US GDP (gross domestic product) continued contracting in Q109.
The Advance Monthly Retail Sales for Retail and Food Services for May is scheduled to be released June 11, 2009.