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Retail sales stalled in April as Americans ventured out more to bars and restaurants but spent less on items like clothing or sporting goods.
Data from the Commerce Department showed on Friday Retail It was flat in April of the previous month.
This is 1% lower than economists expected, but the figure is still strong given the high level of spending seen in March, which was revised upward to show a 10.7% increase in spending compared to the 9.8% increase initially announced.
The numbers were boosted in March by the latest round of stimulus checks approved by Congress earlier this year.
The fact that April matches that [March] The result – in a month when most Americans did not receive $ 1,400 from the federal government – still signals progress. It is an indication that consumers and the economy are starting to become more self-sufficient, said Ted Rossman, chief trading analyst at CreditCards.com.
April data showed that Americans were cutting spending at stores selling a range of goods, including clothing, but sales in restaurants and bars were up 3% from the previous month.
Americans are being vaccinated, businesses reopening, and pent-up demand after months of caution and isolation.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ease it direct About hiding vaccinations completely, saying those who have received all the shots can now safely do most indoor and outdoor activities without social distancing or wearing masks.
Economists expect a shift in the coming weeks and months, from spending on goods to services, such as travel, which has not been fully captured by retail sales data.