It’s worse than we thought

by | May 15, 2020

Consumer spending declined a record 16.4% in April, according to a government report Friday. The drop was far worse than economists had predicted, and it was significantly steeper than the 8.3% sales decline in March.

“Consumers couldn’t get out to shop last month as the pandemic kept them at home, and the result is an economy that has simply collapsed,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “We have never seen economic data like this before in history.”

The Retail Reckoning:

  • Clothing stores took the biggest hit with a 78.8% decline
  • Electronics and appliance sales decreased by 60.6%
  • Furniture and home furnishing sales decreased by 58.7%
  • Sporting goods sales declined by 38.0%

As people continue to stay at home across much of the country, they’re spending more on food than before but very little on anything else. And with mass layoffs leaving millions of Americans out of work, people are focusing more on their “needs” instead of their “wants.”

The only winner? You guessed it. Amazon. Online sales grew by 8.4% between March and April.

“Can’t stop, won’t stop.” – Jeff Bezos, probably.

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