Thursday, May 5, 2011

Retail sales jump in April, some still cautious

An index of sales at 25 major retailers jumped more than expected in April, but some analysts are still cautious about what we'll see going forward.

You can read a detailed story about the sales results here (apologies if anyone gets paywalled out by the New York Times).

The basic gist of things is that sales jumped more than forecast, climbing 8.9 percent. Analysts had expected a rise of 8.2 percent. Some retailers missed expectations, but even they still saw good results. Kohl's, for example, increased sales 10.2 percent, while analysts forecast a huge bump of 15.1 percent.

Economic forecasters said again that there's plenty to be wary about, and the cautionary factors should be familiar by now. National average gas prices are shooting up and expected to top $4 for a gallon  of regular in a week or so (Charlotte's gas prices hit $3.87 a gallon Thursday, and should hit $4 in under two weeks at the current rate of increase). Jobless claims are headed back up, though whether it's because of one-time events or worse trends, no one knows.


Anonymous said...

I would venture a guess to say that retail sales went up due to the raising of prices not to people buying more.

I truly can't imagine sales rising with the ridiculous and inexcusable unemployment that we have in this country.

Something's gotta give and sooner than later.