WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the text of the weekly retail
sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday, for the month-to-date
through the week ended April 24:

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.2% in the third
week of April following a 2.6% gain in the prior week. Month-to-date,
April was up 2.7% compared to April of last year (relative to a target
of a 2.8% gain). Month-over-month showed a 2.0% drop compared to March
(relative to a targeted 1.9% drop). April is a four-week month on the
retail calendar ending on May 1st.

With Easter out of the way and warm weather in most of the country
lawn and garden and spring apparel were reported to be showing signs of
spring fever. Activity was geographically diversified, although some
retailers indicated particular strength in the west coast, where spring
weather generally prevailed. Top selling merchandise categories showed
seasonal bias and were concentrated in spring apparel and home
improvement. Business in consumer goods maintained the strength
supported by activity in food and consumer basics.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **