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Consumers Turn Out to Be U.S. Growth Lifeline After All

  • Retail sales climb a more-than-forecast 1.3%, most in a year
  • Michigan sentiment survey shows real income expectations gain
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What Happened to U.S. Retailers?

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American consumers last month shook off the winter blahs in impressive fashion.

Retail sales climbed in April by the most in 13 months, abruptly ending an early-year letdown in spending that caused a first-quarter downshift in the economy, Commerce Department data showed Friday. The gain was broad-based, with purchases picking up at auto dealers, apparel stores, furniture outlets and online merchants.