Retail Sales Rebound As States Reopen After COVID-19 Lockdowns

June 16, 2020 by Dan McCue
Manager Angel Ramos arranges shoes on a display in Top shoes, Monday, June 8, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, after retail stores were allowed to reopen to customers on the first day marking Phase 1 reopening for New York City. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

WASHINGTON – Retail sales rebounded across the country in May as a growing number of states allowed stores and restaurants to reopen and consumers were finally allowed to venture out and spend federal stimulus checks and tax refunds.

According to the Commerce Department, in-store and online purchases rose 17.7% in May from the previous month.

The renewed growth comes after retail sales crashed in April, when they saw a 14.7% drop, following an 8.3% decline in March.

Despite the positive numbers for May, the pandemic continued to take a bite out of the sector, seeing purchases still down 6.1% from a year ago.

Economists said some of the sales gains could easily be attributed to the return of warm summer weather and consumers’ belief that the worst of the pandemic is over.

But they were also quick to note that some of the May uptick could be illusory — the byproduct of lockdown fatigue and stimulus checks that totaled $1,200 per recipient, plus $500 per child.

The virus-induced recession has not only diminished spending in most sectors of the economy. It has also accelerated shifts in where people shop and what they buy.

The changes have in many cases intensified the financial strain on traditional physical stores and boosted online purchases.

Sales at non-store retailers, which include internet companies like Amazon and eBay, rose 9% in May after posting growth of 9.5% in April. Clothiers achieved a stunning 188% monthly gain, but that was not enough to offset a 63.4% drop over the past 12 months.

Retail sales account for roughly half of all consumer spending, which fuels about 70% of total economic activity. The rest of consumer spending includes services, from cell phone and internet contracts to gym memberships and child care.

Economy

Pandemic Doesn't Prevent Musician from Completing 'Project of a Lifetime'
Entertainment
Pandemic Doesn't Prevent Musician from Completing 'Project of a Lifetime'
July 8, 2020
by Dan McCue

For the musician Nick Parker, a dream 17 years in the making was just coming to fruition when the coronavirus outbreak suddenly brought the world's arts and entertainment industries to a screeching halt. The son of the acclaimed artist Robert Andrew Parker, whose work hangs in... Read More

COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation
Social Media
COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation

SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More

Voters Growing More Doubtful of Sustained Economic Rebound
Opinion Polls
Voters Growing More Doubtful of Sustained Economic Rebound
July 8, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Voters have grown more pessimistic about a quick "v-shaped" economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, especially in the south and west where the number of new cases have spiked recently, a new poll has found. The survey released on Tuesday by... Read More

NewDEAL Forum Launches Task Force to Address Rebuilding the Country Following COVID-19
Economy
NewDEAL Forum Launches Task Force to Address Rebuilding the Country Following COVID-19
July 7, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – The NewDEAL Forum has established a task force comprised of state and local officials to devise recommendations on a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus outbreak. The Renewing America Task Force will be led by five Democratic co-chairs including Phoenix, Ariz., Mayor Kate Gallego; Michigan... Read More

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan Recognized for Leadership on Behalf of Businesses
Congress
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan Recognized for Leadership on Behalf of Businesses
July 7, 2020
by Reece Nations

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., has been recognized for her support of small business, by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Houlahan, who has represented Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District since 2018, is not only an Air Force veteran, engineer and educator, she’s also the first woman elected to... Read More

Senate GOP Aid Package Might Tailor Payments to Low-Income Households, McConnell Suggests
Economy
Senate GOP Aid Package Might Tailor Payments to Low-Income Households, McConnell Suggests

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began to sketch out details of a forthcoming GOP-drafted coronavirus relief package Monday, leaving the door open to another round of direct payments to households as well as more funding for state and local governments. Speaking during a visit... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top