General Motors U.S. sales up 26 percent for April

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co's <GM.N> U.S. sales rose 26 percent in April, a sign that the top U.S. automaker has not been greatly affected by supply disruptions from Japan after the March 11 earthquake.

Auto sales are an early indicator each month of U.S. consumer demand, and GM, as the biggest U.S. seller of autos and the first to report April sales on Tuesday, indicated that industry sales will be strong.

A Thomson Reuters poll of 40 economists and analysts had predicted a gain of 16 percent over last year.

GM said sales were especially strong for its compact cars and compact crossovers, including three Chevrolet brand products: the Cruze, Equinox and Terrain.

Last month, Ford Motor Co <F.N> outsold GM for only the second time in 13 years. Ford and other automakers will report U.S. sales later on Tuesday.

The world's top automaker by sales, Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, is expected to show weaker sales than its U.S. counterparts, due to production and inventory problems, analysts said.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Matthew Lewis)