July 11, 2013 |
A welcome trinity of factors -- perkier job prospects, summer temperatures and more affordable prices -- helped retail sales in June beat expectations. Same-store sales at shops open at least a year -- a measure that strips out the volatility of openings and closings -- rose 4.1% last month from the same period a year earlier, according to Retail Metrics Inc. The surge is the largest since sales swelled 5.1% in January. Retailers had struggled through the spring as they dealt with storms and chilly temperatures and “an economic soft patch,” said the group's president, Ken Perkins.
June 18, 2013 |
Already the entertainment industry's biggest licensor, the Walt Disney Co. is looking to "Star Wars" to lift it to new galactic heights when it releases three new movies over the next few years. "It's already an extraordinarily robust franchise without all that new content,” said Bob Chapek, president of Disney's consumer products unit. “Imagine what's going to happen when we have this succession of new movies.” The next "Star Wars" installment, directed by J.J. Abrams, will be released in 2015.
June 13, 2013 |
Retail sales improved in May as thawing temperatures and more cheerful shoppers caused a boost at car dealerships and home improvement stores, according to government figures. Last month, the gauge rose 0.6% from April to $421.1 billion in sales -- a 4.3% increase from the same period a year earlier, the Commerce Department said. Wall Street had expected a 0.4% month-to-month swell. In April, sales had increased 0.1% from March and 3.7% from the prior year. The data, which the government adjusted for seasonal and holiday variations, showed a 1.8% month-to-month surge in auto sales.
June 7, 2013 |
Consumers emerged in May to give retailers their best month since January, lured by warmer weather and the confidence lift from the surging stock market and rising housing prices. Same-store sales increased 4.8% from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 3.7% boost, according to Thomson Reuters. The gauge outperformed April's 2.2% upswing as well as the 0.5% increase in May 2012. Stripping out the effects of drugstores, last month's measure was up 5.6%. The data include revenue only from locations that have been open at least a year.
May 13, 2013 |
Spring's arrival late in April gave retail sales a light boost as Americans emerged from hibernation to spend on cars, gardening goods and building supplies. From March to April, sales rose a slight 0.1% after declining a revised 0.5% from February to March, according to the Commerce Department. Wall Street had expected a 0.3% slide. The dissipation of the bitter weather that had kept many consumers cooped up at home, coupled with higher home prices, the better-than-expected job market and the record stock performance, helped the sales figures jump 3.7% compared with April 2012.
April 26, 2013 |
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next month on a bill that could require online retailers to collect sales taxes from customers in every state that imposes them. The measure has been bashed by opponents as a tax increase that would cripple small Web businesses. It's not, and it won't. Instead, the Marketplace Fairness Act would eliminate an outdated restriction that favors those who can shop online over those who can't or won't. That's reason enough for it to become law. For much of the last two decades, Internet retailers collected sales taxes only from customers in the states where they were headquartered or had employees.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Consumers cut back on their shopping in March, causing retail sales to contract for the second time in three months, the Commerce Department said Friday. Retail sales fell 0.4% in March compared to the previous month, the biggest drop since June. Economists had expected sales to be flat. The falloff was led by declines in spending at gas stations, department stores and at electronics and appliance retailers. Auto sales, which have been boosting retail figures, also declined in March.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence tumbled sharply this month to its lowest level since July amid a slew of discouraging economic reports and continued gridlock in the nation's capital, according to a leading barometer. The consumer sentiment reading compiled by Thompson Reuters and the University of Michigan fell to 72.3 in the preliminary reading for April, down from 78.6 last month, Reuters reported Friday. Economists had expected the reading to stay about the same. Instead, with recent data indicating a slowdown in the recovery and large federal budget cuts kicking in, consumers expressed more pessimism about the state of the economy and their long-term outlook.