US retail sales rose 0.1% month-over-month in April following a jump of 6.6% in March. The difference is likely attributed to the warmer weather and the early Easter holiday pulling sales ahead from April. The gain was the same even excluding sales of autos and auto parts.
Economists were expecting a rise of 0.2%, both with and without auto sales, so the numbers are slightly lower than estimated. Building materials sales fell -1.8%, the largest decline among the categories counted by the US Census Bureau. Building materials sales were up 10.3% year-over-year in April and up 13.7% year-over-year in March. But the low three-month increase from November 2011 through January 2012 is the likely cause of the disappointing results from The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) this morning (our coverage here).
Non-store retail sales, including websites such as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Ebay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), rose 1.1% month-over-month and are up 11% year-over-year in April. The month-over-month gain was the largest among the Census Bureau’s categories.
The Census Bureau report is available here.