Retail Sales Rise 0.9% in April as Consumers Show Resilience | Business News
By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. retail sales rose 0.9% in April, a strong rise that underscores the ability of Americans to continue to raise spending even if inflation continues at a nearly 40 -year high.
The growth was driven by more sales in cars, electronics, and in restaurants, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Even the adjustment for inflation, which was 0.3% per month in April, increased sales. Gas prices fell slightly last month, curbing inflation, following a rise in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Consumers provided critical economic support even after a year of seeing rising gas prices, food, rent, and other necessities. The economy contracted in the first three months of the year, but consumer and business spending still grew at a healthy pace.
Strong hiring, rapid wage increases, and a healthy level of savings – in general – have boosted the financial health of consumers, despite a sharp rise in consumer prices. 8.3% in April compared to a year ago. The rise is just below the four -decade high reached in March.
However, economists are watching closely to see if consumer spending can continue to outpace inflation. Slow spending can slow economic growth. Even if inflation can be brought down, it also threatens to push the economy into recession.
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