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Retailers report modest gains for April

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 today, 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.

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