Consumers spent more on gasoline, clothing and autos in April, pushing retail sales up for a 10th straight month.
But much of the gain came from a surge in gasoline prices.
The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.5 percent in April after a 0.9 percent increase in March. Excluding a 2.7 percent jump in gasoline sales reflecting higher prices, the increase in retail sales was a much smaller 0.2 percent.
Gasoline pump prices have been surging in recent months, with the nationwide average hovering near $4 a gallon. Economists are worried that higher fuel costs will leave motorists with less money to spend on other items, and that will slow the overall economy. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.