People are shopping like CRAZY for this...

Guess what's in style again? That's right -- shopping. CNN Money reports that retail sales rose 1.3% in April compared to the prior month -- the largest monthly gain in over a year and a promising sign that the U.S. economy is improving after a disappointing first quarter.

But people aren't opening their wallets and swiping their credit cards for everything.

Right now, beauty products, sporting goods, cars, and eating out at restaurants is the rage. Clothes and electronics, on the other hand, aren't as popular this spring. Investors fear that buyers just aren't excited about new clothing and accessories.

Consumers also have a clear preference for shopping online, as evidenced by Amazon, whose stock hit a record high this week above $700 a share. Traditional big box stores like Macy's, whose stock tumbled 18% this week, are in dire straits.

Some economists say that people shouldn't read into the bump in sales too much. They say the gains in April sales simply helped offset earlier declines, and that the economy remains stubbornly weak.

Hopefully, people will continue to spend as the summer draws near, with many consumers presumably planning summer vacations and other activities for leisure and entertainment.

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