NEW YORK – Shoppers, encouraged by signs of an improving economy, picked up their spending in April from March despite cold weather that stopped them from buying spring clothes.
According to a preliminary tally of 11 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers, released Thursday, revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3.4 percent in April from last year. That's up from a 2.2 percent gain in March but still shows modest growth.
For the March-April period, the measure rose 2 percent.
Only a sliver of the nation's retailers now report monthly figures, but the data offers a snapshot of consumer spending.