Retail sales basically flat in April
Sales at grocery stores were down 0.4% compared to the previous month, though sales increased 3.7% compared to the same month in 2022.
The slow growth comes as consumers face continued inflationary pressures, even as it continues to cool from its peak last year.
As Retail Leader previously noted, cooling inflation represents positive news for consumers, but it’s unlikely to provide immediate relief to them or to retailers. Consumer perceptions and behaviors around price and the economy that developed during the last year or so are likely to persist even while conditions improve.
The Federal Reserve has responded to continued inflation by hiking interest rates, most recently raising them by 0.25%, though it this month signaled continued hikes could finally cease. Fed Chair Jerome Powell earlier in May said economic conditions — including the recent failure of three major banks — “may not be far off, or possibly even at” a level where it would end rate hikes.