Shopper in store window display in New York
Washington - Arab Today
US retail sales stalled in April after a surge in March, with only auto sales giving any momentum, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Retail and food services sales rose a mere 0.1 percent in April, weaker than the 0.3 percent gain expected by analysts.
The March increase was upwardly revised to 1.5 percent from the prior estimate of 1.2 percent.
Excluding auto sales, retail sales were unchanged, well below the estimate of a 0.6 percent gain.
Sales of motor vehicles and parts rose 0.6 percent.
There were 2.3 percent drops in spending at electronics and appliance stores and at miscellaneous stores, while spending at restaurants and bars and online fell 0.9 percent.
Year-over-year, retail sales were up 4.0 percent from April 2014.
The seasonally adjusted data was particularly tricky because of the unusually late Easter holiday, which tended to boost March sales at the expense of April, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Shepherdson that sales over March and April -- excluding autos, gasoline and food -- rose by an average of 0.8 percent, well above the prior trend.
"Looking at the whole winter period and the subsequent rebound, core sales still have a bit of catching up to do, but these numbers are nothing like as weak as the headline."