U.S. Economic Data Shows Sharp Slow Down in March and Early April

According to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. retail sales fell by the most ever in March, in reaction to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and many states issuing shelter in place orders. Overall, the value of retail sales fell 8.7% from the prior month. The largest decline in records dating back to 1992. Federal Reserve figures are showing that U.S. Factory output dropped in March by the most since 1946. Of greater concern is the results of surveys being taken in April, which are indicating that things are looking even worse. There was one bright spot, food and beverage stores posted a record 25.6% surge as Americans stocked up on essential goods; sales also rose at health and personal care stores, general merchandise stores and non-store retailers.

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