Retail sales rose for the 10th straight month in April, driven by higher prices at gasoline stations and grocery stores, the Commerce Department reported.
Excluding gas stations, retail sales rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.2 percent from March and 0.5 percent year-over-year.
By the Numbers: U.S. Trade.
Gasoline station sales rose 2.7 percent and food and beverage retailers’ sales increased 1.2 percent, due to higher prices. Furniture, electronics and sporting goods retailers posted significant declines.
The National Retail Federation described the increase as “positive but modest” compared with recent months, and indicated consumers are beginning to feel the strain of rising food and gas prices.
“Positive economic indicators such as increases in job openings and wage growth are certainly helping boost consumers’ confidence, and support spending,” said jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation. “While there are reasons to be optimistic, plenty of other concerns exist which could very easily shift consumers’ spending habits, including decreasing home prices, high unemployment levels and rising costs at the pump.”