Retail Sales Grow Despite Inflation, NRF Says
A kid browses the toy aisles | Source: Adobe Stock

Are consumers already becoming accustomed to inflation?

Despite some of the highest prices in decades, the overall take at the cash register still spiked in April, according to both the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the U.S. Census Bureau. While the two organizations use differing methodology in their calculations, both reported healthy year-over-year growth for April.

According to the NRF, sales spiked 6.4% over last year while the Census charted an 8.2% gain. Both organizations recorded a slight, 0.9% month-over-month gain from March.

“April retail sales demonstrate consumer strength and willingness to spend despite persistent inflation, supply chain constraints, market volatility, and global unrest,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While consumers are facing higher prices, they are preserving their budgets by shopping smart. Retail businesses are also facing increased costs like higher energy bills and rents as well as the cost of goods, transportation, and wages. Despite already tight margins, retailers remain committed to their customers and are doing everything they can to absorb these costs to keep products affordable. With the Federal Reserve already raising interest rates, the Biden administration and Congress have an opportunity to provide targeted relief to American households by lifting the China tariffs, passing legislation to fix the supply chain, and addressing immigration reform to ease the tight labor market.”

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While U.S. toy industry numbers for the first four months of 2022 have yet to be reported, first quarter earnings season reflected healthy business as families continue to embrace the importance of play.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.