US retail sales rose slight 0.1 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers barely increased their spending on retail goods in April. The weak gain was affected by cheaper gas prices and possibly a mild winter, which may have encouraged consumers to make purchases in the previous two months.
The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.1 percent April. Retail spending had risen 0.7 percent in March and 1 percent in February.
Some of the drop was the result of lower gas prices. But excluding gasoline station sales, retail sales rose just 0.2 percent. That means consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, got off to a sluggish start for the April-June quarter.
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