Retail sales jump as prices soar at fastest pace in 40 years
Why it matters: Shoppers aren't pulling back on spending even as prices soar at the fastest pace in 40 years. This is a good sign for the American economy amid fears of a coming recession as inflation rages.
- Retail sales rose 8.2% from a year ago, a period when inflation jumped by 8.3%.
- Stripping out spending on gasoline, retail sales were even stronger, rising 1.3% from the prior month.
Details: Consumers upped spending at restaurants and bars, and spent more on clothing, furniture and cars.
- Spending on gas fell 2.7% compared to March, when gas prices rose as Russia invaded Ukraine.
The bottom line: Economists are keeping a close eye on consumer spending for signs of how they are grappling with soaring prices. So far, activity remains robust.
What to watch: Walmart, the nation's biggest retailer, says it sees some signs that cash-strapped consumers are adjusting their behavior because of higher prices.
- CFO Brett Biggs told CNBC on Tuesday that the company is seeing more sales of half-gallons of milk and its private brand of lunch meat. The company expects inflation to continue to crimp its business this year.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details from the report.