U.S. retail and food services sales rebounded in May from April amid the pandemic, but they were still under levels seen in May 2019, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau advance monthly sales numbers. The agency estimated advance monthly sales for May of $485.5 billion, which marked a 17.7 percent jump from April. That’s the biggest monthly gain since the census bureau began tracking retail sales in 1992, but still 6.1 percent under May 2019 levels.
Retail trade sales increased by an estimated 16.8 percent from April, but were still 1.4 percent below year-ago levels. Nonstore retailers surged by an estimated 30.8 percent from May of last year, as garden equipment and building material and supplies dealers increased by an estimated 16.4 percent from 2019.
Wow! May retail sales show biggest one-month increase of ALL TIME, up 17.7%. Far bigger than projected. Looks like a BIG DAY FOR THE STOCK MARKET, AND JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2020
Additionally, the bureau revised April’s big retail-sales drop to a 14.7 percent drop from a previously reported 16.4 percent which the agency attributed to a number of companies operating with limited capacity or completely halting operations amid the coronavirus crisis.
In terms of the pandemic’s impact on the latest figures, the agency wrote on Tuesday: “Due to recent events surrounding COVID-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely. The Census Bureau has monitored response and data quality and determined estimates in this release meet publication standards.”