Consumer Spending Drops in April

Washington, D.C.–Facing rising gas prices and a slowing economy, consumers reduced their spending last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.Retail sales fell 0.2 percent in April–the second drop in three months, the New York Times reports. The decline was prompted by a 2.8 percent auto sales drop–which was the sector’s biggest decline in 10 months.Department store sales declined 0.1 percent in April, suggesting the weakening economy is causing consumers to bargain hunt at discount stores, the Times said.The Commerce Department also said that business inventories rose a slight 0.1. percent in March–the smallest growth in a year.