Washington, D.C. -- Retail sales rose 0.5% in April after a 0.9% increase in March, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the tenth straight increase and came as consumers spent more on gasoline, clothing and autos in April.
Much of the gain in April, however, came from a surge in gasoline and food prices. Excluding a 2.7% jump in gasoline sales, the increase was a much smaller 0.2%.
Grocery stores sales jumped 1.5% -- triple the March increase. That partly reflected higher food prices.