Retail Sales Suggest U.S. Households in Good Spirits
Retail sales posted a broad-based advance in April as bigger after-tax paychecks helped compensate Americans for rising fuel costs, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. So-called retail-control group sales -- which are used to calculate gross domestic product and exclude food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations -- improved 0.4 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent gain in March. That indicates consumer spending was off to a good start this quarter after a weak patch in early 2018.