The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced advanced estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2004. Sales, adjusted for seasonal, holiday, and trading-day differences including retailers of home furnishings and consumer electronics, were U.S. $331.8 billion, down 5 percent from March 2004.
Total sales for February to April 2004 increased 8.3 percent. Retail trade sales decreased 0.5 percent from March, but were 7.6 percent above the same period last year. Sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 12.4 percent, while building material and garden equipment and supply dealers were up 20.4 percent from April 2003.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, home product stores generated sales of more than $8.7 billion during the month, a growth of 0.7 percent. Electronics and appliance stores rang up nearly $8.5 billion, a growth of 0.8 percent.
Although retail sales in general also increased compared with April 2003, department store sales, including those of mass merchants, were essentially flat.
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