U.S. retail sales declined last month, as Americans cut back their spending on clothes, appliances, and home and garden supplies.
Sales dropped 0.2% in April, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, after a big 1.7% jump in March.
Car sales dropped 1.1% last month and sales at electronics and appliance stores dropped 1.3%.
Retail sales have been on a seesaw pattern, rising at a healthy pace in January, then falling in February, followed by the big jump in March and now a drop in April.
Retail sales are closely watched because they make up about one-third of consumer spending, which drives most economic activity.