News / Economy

US Retail Sales Increase in April

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VOA News
U.S. retail sales rose in April, as households bought cars, building materials and other goods.  

Monday's report from the Commerce Department said consumer spending rose one-tenth of a percent from the previous month.

Outside the volatile areas, like fuel and cars, spending in the overall economy jumped five-tenths of a percent.

Economists and investors track retail sales closely because consumer demand drives about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

The report surprised many economists who had predicted that retail sales would decline as the effect of tax increases and government spending cuts worked their way through the economy.

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Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
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Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
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