SALES UP: Lower-priced gasoline allowed consumers to step up their spending at retail stores in April, boosting purchases of everything from cars and clothes to electronics and building supplies.
THE NUMBERS: Overall, retail sales edged up 0.1 percent, held down by lower gasoline prices. But excluding a drop in gas station sales, retail spending rose a solid 0.7 percent.
OUTLOOK: The rebound from a weak March suggests consumers remain resilient in the face of higher taxes. Some analysts raised their economic growth forecasts for the April-June quarter after seeing the retail sales data, although most still expect growth to weaken slightly from the first-quarter's 2.5 percent annual pace.