NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers picked up their spending in April from March, buoyed by a solid job market and easing inflationary pressures.
Retail sales increased 0.4% in April from March when it was down 0.7%. It marked the first increase since January when unusually warm weather and a big jump in Social Security benefits likely spurred more spending.
Excluding car dealers and gas stations, retail sales rose 0.6%. Spending increased 1.2% at online retailers and ticked up 0.6% at restaurants and bars. Department stores, electronic stores and home furnishings stores all saw declines. The figures are not adjusted for inflation unlike many other government reports.
Spending by Americans has remained remarkably resilient with signs of weakness elsewhere in the economy, but there are still signs that still high inflation and rising interest rates are taking a toll. Still, a solid job market has helped to prop up spending.