Retailers report more modest April sales gains

NEW YORK (AP) - Early reports from retailers show that Americans took a a breather from their March shopping spree in April, partly because Easter came earlier. But the spring selling season is ending up respectable, an encouraging sign for the economy.

As merchants report their monthly figures Thursday, discounters including Costco Wholesale Corp. are emerging as the biggest winners. Limited Brands Inc. had a solid sales gain. But teen merchants including Wet Seal Inc. continue to struggle with declines.

The figures are based on revenue at stores opened at least a year. They are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health because they exclude growth at stores that open or close during the year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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