Retailers should never underestimate what a late Easter, warm weather and a month with five Saturdays and Sundays will do to spring sales.

The government reported this past week that consumers didn't miss a shopping beat in April. Higher prices for gasoline didn't seem to faze them either. Store traffic remained high.

Major retailers reported sales were up as much as 10 percent or more compared to the same month in 2005. Analysts said a warm winter, late Easter and some new fashion trends helped keep the cash registers ringing.

Earnings from the year's first quarter will come out in coming weeks and preliminary results bode well for the majors, including Target, Wal-Mart, Dillards and J.C. Penney Co.

Retailers quoted by the Associated Press said there seemed to be strong spending by teenagers, indicating younger consumers don't seem as worried about gasoline prices. Warm weather generally brings out fashion buying as shoppers are ready for spring and summer apparel.

The pressure from rising interest rates, a fear of inflation, softening housing market and higher gasoline costs will catch up with retailers in coming months, analysts said. For now, they'll ride the wave of consumerism and hope it continues through another business quarter.

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