May 15, 2020
New data from the U.S. Commerce Department revealed April retail sales plummeted 16.4% — the largest monthly decline on record due to economic shutdowns nationwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The drop resulted in a loss of $403.9 billion in revenue. In March, sales fell 8.3%.
Retail trade sales were down 15.1% from March, and 17.8% below a year ago. Clothing and clothing accessories stores were down 89.3% from April 2019, while non-store retailers (i.e. e-commerce) were up 21.6% from a year ago.
“Due to recent events surrounding COVID-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely,” the department said in an understatement.
May retail numbers are scheduled for release on June 16.