The pandemic induced shutdown put a big dent in retail stores across the nation with no sector left undamaged. April Retail Sales fell a record 16.4%, worse than the -12% expected. Gas stations, as well as restaurants and bars, were also impacted along with clothing stores while grocery stores saw gains. March fell by 8.3% as the shutdown began mid-month. Some of the big losses were seen in clothing stores (-78%), electronics and appliances (-60%), furniture and home furnishing (-58%), sporting goods (-38%) and bars and restaurants (-30%).
Consumer attitudes haven't plunged in early May as much as expected due in part to the massive stimulus measures enacted by Congress through the CARES Act. Consumer Sentiment rose to 73.7 in May from 71.8 in April and above the 67.4 expected. “The CARES relief checks improved consumers’ finances and widespread price discounting boosted their buying attitudes,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, in a statement. Coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins as of this morning: Here in the U.S., there are 1,417,889 cases of the virus with 85,906 total deaths while 246,414 have recovered. There are 4,444,670 cases of the virus reported worldwide, 302,493 deaths while 1,588,858 have recovered from the virus. Many states across the nation are beginning to reopen slowly while some are still on stay-at-home guidelines. New York, which was set to partially end sat-at-home orders today, has been extended to June 13, Governor Cuomo announced today.