Retail sales continue to rebound as the consumer finds his/her legs and year over year comparisons remain very easy. ICSC reported this morning that week over week sales jumped 2.1% while year over year sales jumped 4.7%. They attribute the strength to the calendar shift in Easter and good weather across the country. Redbook is singing the same positive tune for March with a robust 5.2% year over year gain, but warns of a April slow-down. Econoday has the details:
“This report stresses, as do retailers themselves, the need to look at March and April together, in this way eliminating the severe comparison distortions caused by the Easter shift. Redbook, in what is a big difference with ICSC-Goldman, offers a month-to-month indication, here pointing to a plus 1.5 percent for March that it sees reversing to minus 1.6 percent for April.
An April reversal would tell a different story, that retail sales, after showing gains in January and February will turn flat in the combined months of March and April — pointing to a stalling for the wider economy. This nuance should subdue reaction to what may be very strong headline gains for March retail sales. A run of chain stores will post their results on Thursday and early returns support expectations for outsized calendar-effected gains in March.”