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Wednesday 26th of January 2011
May 5, 2005    

US gas prices fail to dent consumer spending

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by Brian Turner
US gas prices fail to dent consumer spending

While higher gasoline prices are having some effects on the shopping patterns of U.S. consumer, retail sales figures released on Thursday show that people are still buying.

The impact comes in the number of shopping trips that consumers are taking and what and how much they are buying when they do go shopping.

The largest U.S. retailer, Wal-Mart, said that figures show that shoppers aren’t making as many visits to their stores but that they are buying more while they are there. The data also disclosed that consumers were buying more food than general merchandise, Wal-Mart said.

Overall, Wal-Mart saw an 0.9 percent increase in its sales in April, with a 4.9 percent increase at its Sam’s Club stores and an 0.1 percent increase at Wal-Mart stores.

Other stores showed increases in sales in April. Department store chains JC Penney, Federated, and Nordstrom all registered better than anticipated sales in their stores that had been open more than a year, and all increased forecasts of first-quarter earnings. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus showed a 12.5 percent sales increase at its 37 stores.

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