By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose 0.9% in April, a solid increase that underscores Americans’ ability to keep ramping up spending even as inflation persists at nearly a 40-year high. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the increase was driven by greater sales of cars, electronics, and at restaurants. Even adjusting for inflation, which was 0.3% on a monthly basis in April, sales increased. Gas prices fell slightly last month, restraining inflation, after soaring in March in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The report also showed that sales in March were revised much higher, to a gain of 1.4%, from 0.7%.