JUNE 22, 2020 – RETAIL SALES SOAR BY 17.7 PERCENT IN MAY
AS consumers returned to newly reopened stores in May, the shopping began. Retail sales were up 17.7 percent in May, far outpacing the last record of 6.7 percent set in October 2001, a month after 9/11. Economists were expecting to see an 8 percent increase. If cars and associated parts are removed form the calculation, May’s gains are at 12.4 percent, the best on record since 1967.
Even with gains of these levels, retail sales are still far below the levels seen before the Coronavirus took hold. Total sales are down 6.1 percent year over year. Economists are optimistic for Q2 GDP, but that will not make up for all the losses as huge sectors of the economy are still partially, or completely, shut down.