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Retail sales for April (excluding motor vehicles and gasoline) rose by 2.7 percent year over year on a seasonally adjusted basis, with health and personal-care stores (up 3.6 percent), total general merchandise stores (2.7 percent higher) and food-and-beverage stores (2 percent higher) among the best performers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Restaurants and bars saw a 5.7 percent increase in April, relative to a year ago, and nonstore retailers — a category that represents all online sales, including those processed by physical retailers, plus mail-order companies — rose by 9 percent.
Building-supply store sales increased by 1.2 percent, and apparel sales edged up by 0.2 percent.
Sales declines were reported for sporting-goods, hobby, books and music stores (down by 8.5 percent); electronics stores (off by 4.3 percent); furniture stores (a 3.1 percent decline); and discount and traditional department stores, a subset of total general merchandise stores (down by 3 percent).
By Edmund Mander