Survey News: Retail Sales Mostly Up in April

Sales of home merchandise improved, but clothing sales fell for retailers in April, according to a monthly U.S. Commerce Department report. Overall retail sales increased 9.3% over April 2003, but fell by 0.5 from March.

Home furnishings sales increased 0.7% over March and 10.3% over April 2003. Even better were sales of electronics and appliances, which grew 0.8% over March and 12.3% over April 2003. But the apparel segment dropped 2% below March even though sales came in 10.3% better than last April.