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U.S. Jewelry Store Sales +10%

Department Store Sales Decline

May 13, 2013 10:51 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Jewelry store sales in the U.S. rose 9.9 percent year on year to $2.31 billion in March. In addition, the consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry fell 2.9 percent in March. Jewelry store sales remained strong during the first quarter, increasing  8.2 percent to $6.99 billion compared with the first  three months of 2012. The CPI for jewelry has also been lower each month this year.  

Meanwhile, advanced estimates for sales at U.S. department stores in April reflected a decline of 6.9 percent year on year at $13 billion. The estimated sales for all retail and food services, excluding motor vehicle and parts, rose 3 percent in April to $334.3 billion. Retail trade sales improved 3.6 percent during the month.  jewelry store sales

This past week, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) measured a 2.7 percent year on year increase in chain-store sales during April,  which was in line with the group's expectations. Michael P. Niemira, ICSC's  vice president of research and chief economist, surmised that the improvement was most likely being boosted by a stronger household wealth effect from higher home and stock market prices.

In its own report issued today, the National Retail Federation (NRF) concluded that strengthening employment data, increasing housing prices and a record-breaking stock market provided consumers the confidence to shop in April.

NRF's president Matthew Shay said, “In the face of higher taxes and the sequester, consumers provided the economy a bit of a reprieve this month. Despite colder spring weather and an early Easter, consumers shopped in April, demonstrating an inherent resiliency even as the economy faces serious headwinds, including stagnant job and wage growth.”

But NRF's chief economist Jack Kleinhenz concluded that retail sales and consumer spending in April may not necessarily translate into a stronger or healthier second quarter.

The NRF noted strong mid-single-digit sales increases from retailers of building materials, garden equipment and supplies, furniture and home accessories, sporting goods, hobby and book and music. Small sales increases were observed for clothing and accessories, electronics and appliances, while health and personal care stores were flat and general merchandise sales contracted in April.

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Tags: april, increase, index, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, march, price, retail sales, stores
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