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Solid growth for NAICS 444

Stronger than average monthly performance for building material category.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444) increased 4.4% on an adjusted basis in April, compared to the same month in 2017, according to the advance monthly sales report released Tuesday by the Commerce Department.

The NAICS 444 retailers — a diverse group that includes hardware stores and building supply dealers — posted an unadjusted $35.7 billion in sales for April. Compared to the previous month, again on an adjusted basis, sales increased 0.4%.

Other than gas stations (up 11.7% on the year), the fastest-growing segment of retail was non-store retailers, up 9.6%.

Overall retail sales in April — excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants — increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted over March and 2.8% year-over-year as consumers continued to spend.

“Retail sales growth remains solid and on track as households benefit from tax cuts even though they have faced unseasonable weather and bumpy financial markets,” National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The tax cuts and higher savings levels should help consumers afford the recent surge in gasoline prices. And a solid job market, recent wage gains and elevated confidence translate into ongoing spending support.”

The report also showed:

  • General merchandise stores were up 2.5% year-over-year and up 0.3% from March seasonally adjusted.
  • Sporting goods stores were down 1.1% year-over-year and down 0.1% from March seasonally adjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.7% compared to last year, and down 0.1% compared to March.
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