May 18, 2020 — Record Drop in Retail Sales for April

MAY 18, 2020 – RECORD DROP IN RETAIL SALES FOR APRIL

68 percent of the country’s economy is reliant on personal consumption expenditures. The April data came in last week, reporting drop of 16.4 percent in consumer spending. March was down 8.3 percent, and the aggregate Q1 results showed a fall of 7.6 percent.  To put the numbers into perspective, the March data was the worst reported since 1992.

Hardest hit have been clothing and accessories (-79%), electronics (-61%), furniture (-59%) and restaurants and gas stations, both down some 30%.

Some areas are expected to turn around as non-essential businesses are now being allowed to reopen. The collapse in retail spending has come along with massive job losses, unseen since World War II.  36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the last 8 weeks.

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