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Retail Sales Increase

Retail sales increased 0.4% in April after falling in February and March, Fox Business reports.

What’s going on: “Excluding the more volatile measurements of gasoline and autos, sales climbed 0.6% last month.… Consumers spent less on big-ticket items like cars, electronics, appliances, furniture and clothing and more at bars and restaurants. Gas sales slid 0.8% in April, even as the cost of fuel spiked.”

However …  Despite the rebound, sales in April rose in only seven of 13 retail categories. These include motor vehicles and parts dealers, health and personal care stores, general merchandise stores and garden and home improvement retailers.

  • Sales declined at sporting goods and hobby shops (down 3.3%), department stores (down 1.1%), gas stations (down 0.8%), furniture and home furnishings stores (down 0.7%), electronics and appliance outlets (down 0.5%), grocery stores (down 0.4%) and clothing and accessories shops (down 0.3%).

Big picture: On a year-over-year basis, retail sales have climbed 1.6%, or 4.3% excluding motor vehicles and gas station sales.  

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