April bookstore sales rose 1.9%, to $701 million, compared to April 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marks the second month in a row bookstore sales have risen following three months of sales drops, going back to November 2016. For the first four months of the year, bookstore sales have slipped 0.9%, to $3.6 billion, compared to the first four months of 2016.
Total retail sales in April rose 3.4%, to $467.8 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3.6%, to $1,796 billion.
Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing new books."