US Retail Sales USA They fell a record 16.4% from March to April as coronavirus trade closings kept shoppers at bay, threatened stores across the country, and affected a declining economy.
Retail sales in the United States probably collapsed last month when the coronavirus paralyzed the economy, alienated millions of shoppers, and threatened the future of stores across the country.
The Commerce Department is expected to report Friday that retail purchases fell 11.4% from March to April, according to economists surveyed by data provider FactSet. That would be the steepest month-to-month drop since the government began keeping those records in 1992. And it would add to a 8.4% drop in March.
For a retail sector that is already recovering from consumer migration to online shopping and app-based delivery services, a consecutive free fall in spending represents a serious risk. Department stores like Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy protection. Hotels, restaurants and car dealerships are in danger.
An analysis conducted in April by a group of academic economists found that a one-month shutdown could wipe out 31% of non-retail retailers. A four-month shutdown could force a 65% shutdown.