Retail sales dampen U.S. growth prospects
(Baystreet Global Markets (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) U.S. retail sales barely rose in April, tempering hopes of a sharp acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales edged up 0.1% last month, held back by declines in receipts at furniture, electronic and appliance stores, restaurants and bars and online retailers.
Retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, rose by a revised 1.5% in March. That was the largest increase since March 2010 and reflected pent-up demand after a brutally cold winter.
Economists had forecast sales advancing 0.4% last month after a previously reported 1.2% surge in March.
Data such as employment, as well as manufacturing and services industries surveys, had suggested the economy regained strength early in the second quarter after being weighed down by bad weather and a slow pace of restocking by businesses in the first three months of the year.
But the retail sales report cast a shadow on that upbeat outlook. So-called core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, fell 0.1% in April.
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