In May, the United States recorded a record growth in retail sales, but it only partially offset the losses in March and April
US retail sales posted a record increase last month after a two-month slump. This was further evidence that the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over or is nearing its end..
The Commerce Department released the upbeat data on Tuesday, and it was revealed earlier this month that 2.5 million new jobs were created in the country in May. Layoffs are on the decline and industrial activity is picking up, although production is still low.
A 63 percent increase in retail sales in May offset losses in March and April. However, the road to economic recovery could be long, as new outbreaks of infections are recorded in some parts of the country. In addition, increased unemployment payments will end in July..
Fed chief Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday that “unless the public is confident that the spread of the disease has been contained, a full recovery is unlikely.”.
Retail sales rose 17.7 percent in May, the highest since the statistics began in 1992. Economists predicted 8 percent growth.
At the same time, compared to last year, sales fell by 6.1 percent. Despite recorded growth in May, sales are still 8 percent lower than in February.
Particularly strong growth was noted in the field of car sales – 44.1 percent.
The average bill at gas stations increased by 12.8 percent. Sales in electronics and home appliances stores increased by 50.5 percent, in clothing stores – by 188 percent. At the same time, ready-to-wear stores are still 63 percent behind February indicators..
In furniture stores, sales increased by 89.7 percent, in restaurants and bars – by 29.1 percent. In books, music and hobby stores – by 88.2 percent. All of these categories suffered record losses in March and April.
Online and catalog sales rose 9 percent. In hardware stores – by 10.9 percent.
What Fed chair Jerome Powell said about the U.S. economy
A separate Fed report showed that rising car demand boosted production volumes by 3.8 percent after falling 15.5 percent in April. At the same time, industrial production, which accounts for 11 percent of the size of the American economy, remains at a low level..
Economists predict consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, could decline 37 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. This could lead to the fact that the GDP over this period will fall by 36 percent..