COVID-19

Retail sales soar 17.7% in May, although they’re still down compared to last year

Marielle Segarra Jun 16, 2020
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With lockdowns lifting, economists expected May retail sales to jump. But not by this much. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
COVID-19

Retail sales soar 17.7% in May, although they’re still down compared to last year

Marielle Segarra Jun 16, 2020
Heard on:
With lockdowns lifting, economists expected May retail sales to jump. But not by this much. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Retail sales jumped by nearly 18% in May, more than double the forecasts. The numbers give us an idea of how much the economy is bouncing back since states started lifting their lockdowns.

Eighteen percent is a huge jump. Economists were expecting sales to increase in May because that’s when states started to lift their lockdowns, but the projections were 8%.

If you dig into the numbers, clothing sales in May jumped by 188%. The context here: They’re still down compared to May of last year. For clothing sales, they’re down by 63%. Overall, retail sales are down by 6%, so consumer spending is still recovering.

But these are good numbers. Keep in mind, coronavirus cases are also growing in many states in part because people are going out. So there could be new lockdowns at some point.

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