Re­tail sales re­bounded in April af­ter slug­gish win­ter

The Progress-Index Weekend - - BUSINESS -

Amer­i­cans stepped up their spend­ing at auto deal­ers, hard­ware stores and e-com­merce out­lets as re­tail sales re­bounded from two slug­gish months.

The Com­merce Depart­ment said Fri­day that re­tail sales in­creased 0.4 per­cent in April from March. Sales ticked up just 0.1 per­cent in March and fell in Fe­bru­ary.

The in­crease sug­gests that con­sumers are poised to spur faster growth in the April-June quar­ter af­ter the econ­omy barely ex­panded in the first three months of the year. Con­sumer spend­ing — which also in­cludes spend­ing on ser­vices such as util­i­ties — rose at its slow­est pace in more than seven years in the first quar­ter.

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