U.S. retail sales rose last month more than expected, the Commerce Department said Monday, suggesting that lower gasoline prices and rising home and stock prices are offsetting the effect of the payroll tax hike and sequester.

Retail sales, which account for about 30 percent of consumer spending, in April rose 0.1 percent after a 0.5 percent fall in March. Analysts expected a 0.3 percent decline.

Core sales, which do not include sales of automobiles, building materials or gasoline, rose 0.5 percent, up from March's 0.1 percent increase.

 

 

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