US Retail And Food Service Sales Jump A Record 17.7 Pct In May

Retail, Food Service Sales Jump By Estimated 17.7 Pct In May

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.


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.”



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.