Retail Sales Rise Driven By Higher Gas Prices
Retail sales in the U.S. rose for the 10th month in a row in April, but most of the increase was driven by higher gas prices, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Official data has shown sales increased by 0.5% last month, after March's 0.9% rise. Excluding a 2.7% jump in gas prices, the rise in retail sales in April was only 0.2%.
Gas prices have risen strongly this year in the US, with some analysts concerned it will mean consumers have less money for other purchases.
US wholesale prices also experienced an increase, the WSJ reports.
The rise was again attributed to the higher cost of gas, and other energy bills.
The Labor Department said the Producer Price Index, which measures the price US companies must pay for raw materials and factory goods, had risen 0.8% in April.
This was a slight increase on the 0.7% rise in March.
The latest retail sales figures from the Commerce Department also showed that clothing and car sales rose last month.
Eugenio Aleman, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina, said, "The rise in retail sales were basically related to higher gasoline prices.”
"Overall the report was good because it was positive, but the economy and consumers are still having trouble,” Aleman said, reports the WSJ.