US retail sales inch up in April

Shopping for ties in New York Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity

US retail sales rose unexpectedly in April, after falling back in the previous month.

The Commerce Department says retail sales crept up 0.1% during the month, after a 0.5% fall in March, which had been the largest in nine months.

And excluding petrol station sales, retail spending rose by some 0.7%, suggesting consumers are increasing their spending.

Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity.

Core sales, which strip out cars, petrol, and building materials and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, increased by 0.5%.

The increase in core sales comes on top of relatively strong jobs data in the past three months.

"Consumer spending looks to have started the second quarter off on a solid note," said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Car sales were up 1% in April, while clothing sales rose 1.2%. Sales at general merchandise stores, a category that covers department stores, increased by 1%.

Sales were also healthy at building materials and garden supply stores, as well as electronics and appliance stores.

More on This Story

US Economy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Hands holding goldGold rush Watch

    Recession drives new wave of prospectors into the wild


  •  a Kurdish bakery, complete with a tandoor ovenLittle Kurdistan

    Middle Eastern haven in the American south


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Dog wearing GoPro camera harnessClick Watch

    A camera harness for dogs, calls for more social media safeguards plus other tech news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.