Retail sales drop in April as consumer retreat continues


The era of the frugal consumer continues. Consumers reined in spending again in April, as retail sale fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.4 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday (pdf).

It was the eighth decline in retail sales in the last 10 months. Retail sales have now fallen 10.8 percent in the past year, with about one-third of that decline stemming from lower gasoline prices. Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.5 percent in April.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected April retail sales to rise 0.1 percent and rise 0.3 percent excluding autos. Retail sales fell a revised 1.3 percent in March.