Retail sales up 0.4% in April, buoyed by solid job market and declining prices in some areas

NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers picked up their spending modestly in April from March, particularly in dining out and online,  buoyed by a solid job market and easing inflationary pressures. A bump up in car sales also helped results, according to the Commerce Department report issued Tuesday. But shoppers are facing plenty of challenges heading into the second half of the year from tightening credit to a weaker job market. Retail sales increased 0.4% in April from March when it was down 0.7%. It marked the first increase since January when unusually warm weather and a big jump in Social Security benefits likely spurred more spending.