Blog: Showers hit April sales
Leonie Barrie | 11 May 2007
April’s US retail sales figures were worse than disappointing according to an index of 51 leading chains compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers. It says the 2.3% drop in sales compared with April of last year is the largest since the trade group started keeping records in the 1970s – and that the results were much weaker than already-depressed forecasts were suggesting.
Almost unanimously, retailers say they were hit by unusually cold weather in April, an early Easter that pulled sales forward to March, and rising fuel prices that curtailed spending. And they’re putting a positive spin on the chances of a summer pick-up. Despite their optimism, though, there are fears that the sales slide might mark the start of a more widespread slump in the economy, and that troubles in the US housing market are starting to weigh on consumer spending. It’s definitely a tough environment for retailers, and whatever they might say, the short-term outlook doesn't look that much better either.
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