By  on May 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — Falling gasoline prices and improving consumer confidence contributed to an uptick in retail sales in April, as specialty stores, discounters and department stores all posted gains, the Commerce Department’s monthly report released on Monday showed.

Sales at apparel and accessories stores showed the strongest gain, rising a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent to $20.6 billion last month. Sales at department stores increased 0.3 percent to $14.7 billion. General merchandise store sales, which includes department stores, gained 1 percent to $52.2 billion.

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