Overall retail sales in April were up 0.4% from March and up 1.6% year over year. In March, sales were down 0.7% month over month but up 2.4% year over year.

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed April was up 0.6% from March and up 2% unadjusted year over year. In March, sales were down 0.7% month over month but up 3.4% year over year. NRF’s numbers were up 3.7% unadjusted year over year on a three-month moving average as of April.

April sales were up in four out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and general merchandise stores. Clothing and clothing accessory stores were down 0.3% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 4.1% unadjusted year over year.

Commenting on the numbers, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: “Retail sales rebounded in April, reflecting consumer resilience in the face of elevated economic uncertainty. Moderating price levels, continued labour market strength and wage gains have increased consumers’ ability to spend. However, they remain cautious and concerned about the current economic environment. Retailers continue to provide competitive pricing and convenience to help cost-sensitive consumers stretch their budgets.”

“Consumers remained engaged in April,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz added. “Shoppers are being selective and price-sensitive, but we continue to expect that spending will see modest gains through the course of the year. Year-over-year growth slowed, which was partly because of upward revisions to last year’s data but also an early indication that credit conditions are tightening and excess savings are shrinking.”