May 09, 2024

CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Shows Retail Sales Grew in April

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2024Retail sales grew modestly from the month before in April, but a shift in the timing of Easter appeared to be behind a slight year-over-year decline, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation.

“Consumer spending continues to drive economic growth and retail sales increases, though we see some moderation in spending as consumers continually search for value,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The ability to spend is supported by a growing job market and real gains in wages. Overall inflation remains stubborn because of elevated prices for services, while inflation for goods has dropped to nearly zero. Consumers remain focused on value and price and are shifting their spending patterns where needed to make ends meet.”

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 0.26% seasonally adjusted month over month but down 0.6% unadjusted year over year in April, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with increases of 0.36% month over month and 2.72% year over year in March.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales (excluding restaurants in addition to automobiles and gasoline) was up 0.4% month over month in April and almost unchanged — down just 0.05% — year over year. That compared with increases of 0.23% month over month and 2.92% year over year in March.

The year-over-year decline appeared to be an anomaly reflecting that Easter fell in April last year but came in March this year, and April had two fewer weekend days this year. Despite the drop, total sales were up 1.82% year over year for the first four months of the year and core sales were up 2.31%.

Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity Solutions and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.

April sales were up in five out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores, and building and garden supply stores. Sales were up in all but one category on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 1.18% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 13.88% year over year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.85% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 5.26% year over year unadjusted.
  • Building and garden supply stores were up 4.39% month over month and up 4.41% year over year unadjusted.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.46% month over month and up 2.08% year over year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were up 0.26% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 0.69% year over year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were up 0.26% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 0.38% year over year unadjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 2.14% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 1.55% year over year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.67% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 3.28% year over year unadjusted.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were down 1.11% month over month and down 4.46% year over year unadjusted.

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About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $5.3 trillion to annual GDP and supporting more than one in four U.S. jobs — 55 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a complete view of U.S. and U.K. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into privacy-compliant, actionable intelligence for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive strategic growth and lasting customer relationships. Visit us at to discover how we’re shaping the future of consumer purchase insights.



NRF: J. Craig Shearman |

CNBC: Melissa Castro |

Affinity Solutions: Dewi Paulino |

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