Retail Sales Thursday, May 12, 8:30 A.M.

Retail sales likely increased by 0.5% in April after a 0.4% advance in March, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Excluding cars, April sales are also expected to have risen by 0.5% after a 0.4% gain in March. However, a 0.2% drop in sales at department and discount stores, as reported by the Johnson Redbook Report, suggests that the April forecast may be too optimistic.

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