Retail Sales Rise Most in a Year, Marking U.S. Consumer Comeback



By Michelle Jamrisko

Sales at retailers jumped in April by the most in a year, indicating consumer spending will help the U.S. economy recover from an early-year slowdown.

Purchases climbed 1.3 percent last month, the biggest gain since March 2015, after a 0.3 percent March drop that was smaller than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.8 percent gain.

Healthier household finances, reflecting reduced borrowing and increased savings, mean consumers have the wherewithal to boost spending even as gasoline prices rise and job growth moderates. That can help shore up profits at retailers such as Macy’s Inc. after a disappointing start to 2016.

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