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US retail sales rose a solid 0.3 percent in April

U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, a sign that consumers may be rebounding from weak spending in the first three months of the year and driving better economic growth.

Retail sales increased 0.3 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, down from a 0.8 percent gain in March, which was revised higher. The spending gains were spread across most retail categories, with big gains at furniture and clothing stores.

“Consumption growth is on track for a big rebound in the second quarter, which should push overall GDP growth up to more than 3 percent,” Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said.

Spending is likely to remain healthy in the months ahead, buoyed by a strong job market that is showing early signs of lifting Americans’ incomes. The unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 3.9 percent.

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