U.S. retail and food service sales inched up 0.1 percent in April 2013 to $419 billion, according to the latest retail report from the Census Bureau. This increase followed March’s 0.5 percent decline in sales, which was the steepest drop since June 2012.
April’s sales value was up 0.8 percent compared with the level at the beginning of the year, when it was $415.8 billion. Month-to-month changes in sales have been sporadic during the past 12 months, showing no more than three months in a row of consistent ups or downs, and only two months changing by 1 percent or more. Sales in the first four months of 2013 totaled $1.7 trillion, up 3.7 percent over the same period in 2012.
Year over year, sales accelerated to 3.7 percent growth in April, up from 2.9 percent in March. Year-over-year changes have been consistently up since October 2009.