Surge in May paced by car sales.
When the lockdowns let up, shoppers get shopping. Sales at US retailers roared back in May as the economy started to reopen following record declines in the prior two months triggered by the coronavirus. Retail sales jumped 17.7% last month, the government said this morning. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast an 8.5% increase. In April, sales had fallen 14.7%.
Car sales paced the May gains. Sales surged 44% at auto dealers. According to economists, the auto sector typically accounts for 20% of all retail spending. Still, sales excluding autos rose a record 12.4%.