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Sunday 16th of May 2010
May 14, 2010    

US consumer spending up 0.4% in April

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by Kay Murchie

US retail sales rose in April for the seventh consecutive month. The figures are closely watched since consumer spending makes up for more than two-thirds of overall economic activity in the US.

According to the Commerce Department, total retail sales rose by 0.4% following an upwardly revised 2.1% gain the previous month.

Furthermore, retail sales were 8.8% higher than in April 2009 and last month’s figures were boosted by an unexpected rise in car sales.

“This adds to a string of data we have received indicating that consumer spending is improving,” said James Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Virginia.

In the meantime, US industrial production also expanded in April by 0.8%, according to the country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve.

The figures exceeded expectations of 0.6% and the figures were boosted by stronger manufacturing, which has seen factories increase hiring.

Last week, manufacturers added 44,000 jobs in April - the most since 1998.

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