Retail sales in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in April after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in March.
Economists had expected sales to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
The slowdown in the pace of retail sales growth came as sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers inched up by just 0.1 percent in April and spiking by 2.1 percent in March.
Excluding the modest increase in auto sales, retail sales still rose by 0.3 percent in April following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in March.
Ex-auto sales have been expected to climb by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
Notable increases in sales by clothing and accessories stores, furniture and home furnishings stores and gas stations were partly offset by decreases in sales by health and personal care stores and food service and drinking places.
Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose by 0.4 percent in April after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.5 percent in March.
“That suggests after a weak start to the year, consumption growth has rebounded in recent months,” said Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.
He added, “That’s exactly what we’d expect to see given the tax cuts began to boost disposable incomes in February and consumer confidence remains high.”
Compared to the same month a year ago, retail sales were up by 4.7 percent in April versus the 4.9 percent year-over-year increase in March.