April U.S. Retail Sales See Biggest Gain Since Last Year

Retail and restaurant sales in April grew at the best pace since last year, a sign that consumer spending will help the economy bounce back from a slow start to 2016.

Following a 0.3 percent drop the month previous, retail sales increased 1.3 percent in April to garner the largest advance since March 2015, reported the Wall Street Journal. The figure was much greater than the 0.8 percent growth predicted by economists surveyed by the source.

Total sales rang in at a seasonally adjusted $453.44 billion, led by three key sectors. The auto, gas and nonstore retailer industries were at the forefront of high sales.

Spending at auto dealers climbed 3.2 percent last month, reported Bloomberg. This helped to reverse the drop in sales in February and remains in line with industry data. Light truck and car sales reached a rate of 17.3 million annualized last month.

“This is all part and parcel of the consumption numbers coming more in line with the income numbers we’ve been seeing,” said Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York. “The breadth of this report was extremely constructive.”