US retail sales slow sharply in April

New York shopper Shoppers spending barely changed in April from March

US retail sales barely grew in April, rising 0.1% from March's level, while consumer prices were unchanged.

Excluding petrol sales, the Commerce Department said consumers increased spending by just 0.2% last month.

The US Labor Department said that the seasonally adjusted consumer price index was flat in April, after a 0.3% rise in March.

Annual inflation in April was 2.3%, the lowest rate for a year. That is close to the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

Last month, the Fed repeated its intention of keeping its key interest rate at a record low for the next two years at least.

Retail sales figures are a closely-watched statistic as consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the US economy.

Some of the weakest sectors last month included building materials and gardening equipment, where sales fell 1.8%, and clothing, where sales were down 0.7%.

The increase in sales during March was downgraded to show a rise of 0.7%, compared with the original estimate of an 0.8% rise.

The US economy was measured as growing at an annualised pace of 2.2% in the January-to-March quarter. This was down from the 3% increase recorded in the October-to-December period, but faster than last year's 1.7% growth rate.

More on This Story

US Economy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Peter MatthiessenPeter and Paddy

    Remembering two of the greatest travel writers


  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.