The Commerce Department today reported that retail sales increased only 0.5% in April and most of those gains -- particularly at gas stations and grocery stores -- coming as either a direct or indirect result of rising gasoline prices.
Meanwhile, sales at furniture stores and electronics dealers fell 1.2% and 2.2%, respectively, a sign that Americans were spending more on gas, which peaked at a national average of $3.99 earlier this month, as oil prices ascended before pulling back about 18% in the past three weeks.
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