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Retail sales dip in US

US retail sales fell 0.4 per cent in April, dashing hopes that consumer spending was starting to revive and would help end the recession.<br /><br />Economists said families who are worried about layoffs and unpaid job furloughs are saving more and spending less, delaying the start of a sustained recovery.<br /><br />Retail sales had posted gains in January and February after falling for six straight months.<br /><br />The&nbsp;earlier gains had raised hopes that the crucial consumer sector of the US economy might be stabilising. But the setbacks in March and April retail sales cast doubts on that prospect.<br /><br />Meanwhile, more than 342,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in April.