With many consumers sheltering in place last month and only leaving their homes only to purchase essential goods and services, retail sales declined 16.4% in April. Well above the 12.3% the economists surveyed by Dow Jones had predicted. Apart from groceries, which posted a modest gain, the remaining members of the sector which includes clothing stores, electronics and appliances, furniture, sporting goods, and restaurants and bars all posted double-digit declines. It is important to keep in mind that 68% of the U.S. national $21.5 trillion economy comes from personal spending. The good news is that some economic data is starting to point to a potential turn around. This as various states begin lifting restrictions and allow businesses beyond ‘essential’ to open while following social distancing protocols.
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Retail sales plunge a record 16.4% in April, far worse than predicted