Commerce's U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales for April 2010. Retail sales increased 0.4 percent, following a large 2.1‑percent rise in March. Sales of building materials and garden equipment and supplies jumped 6.9 percent following a similarly large gain in March. Private-sector analysts had expected a small decline of 0.1 percent in total sales in April.
“The rising trend in retail sales indicates that consumer spending continues to grow, underlining increasing confidence in the recovery,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The gains in consumer spending are yet another indication that the outlook for sustained economic growth is improving.”