You are not the only one to welcome the warm, summer-like weather. Better weather has prompted more of us to buy something.
Michigan retailers welcomed a long-awaited rise in sales during April with a burst of optimism about sales for the rest of spring and early summer, according to the Michigan Retail Index, Michigan Retailers Association spokesperson Tom Scott tells WOOD Radio our long, cold winter threw Michigan storeowners a curve.
"They went into the year thinking it was going to be a very good year. The first three months were very poor because of the weather. Now that April came back, we can expect that to continue into May and June. Then we will just see where we area."
The April survey of MRA members showed 43 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 37 percent recorded declines and 20 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 51.1, up from 44.8 in March. A year ago April the Index stood at 54.
The 100-point Index gauges the performance of the state’s overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.
“The end of the seemingly endless winter was the tonic that consumers and retailers needed,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. “Sales rose along with the temperatures and boosted retailers’ outlook for the immediate future.”
Looking forward, 65 percent of retailers expect sales during May-July to increase over the same period last year, while 10 percent project a decrease and 25 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 73.9, up from 63.3 in March. A year ago April the Index stood at 68.1.