May 17 (UPI) — American shoppers don’t appear to be deterred by rising prices in the United States, as retail spending increased by nearly 1% during the month of April, the Commerce Department said in its monthly report Tuesday.
The assessment said that retail sales were up 0.9% last month. Most economists expected the increase to be about 1%.
Excluding auto sales, spending rose by 0.6% in April, which was higher than the 0.4% expected by analysts.
Tuesday’s report also revised March’s figure up, from 0.5% to 1.4% — a significant adjustment.
The report shows that American consumers are still spending in the face of the highest rise in inflation in more than 40 years. Consumer spending is one of the key factors that influence inflation in the United States.
Some observers have expressed concern about a looming recession, while others say there are enough positive signs indicating that an approaching recession is unlikely.
“Given this show of strength from consumers, speculation that the U.S. economy is in danger of an imminent plunge into recession look badly misplaced,” analyst Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics told MarketWatch.
Tuesday’s report said restaurant sales rose 2% last month — while spending in sporting goods, appliances, musical instruments and bookstores declined.
The department said that food services and drinking places saw increased sales over April 2021 — and miscellaneous store retailers saw an 18.6% increase over that span.