Retail turnover growth in May was 17.7% compared to the previous month, the largest monthly jump in history.
With the removal of restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, customers around the world have returned to their stores. According to earlier assumptions, a jump in retail sales in May was inevitable. But while economists had called the figure about 8%, the reality was much higher than expected - monthly growth in U.S. retail sales, including food sales, reached an unprecedented 17.7%. The previous retail growth record was recorded in October 2001, a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Retail sales separately showed an increase of 16.8% in May compared to the previous month. At the same time, in April, there was a decline in retail with the index up 14.7%. Retailers of clothing and accessories showed the most impressive growth - compared to April, sales here increased by 188%, and sales in stores of sports goods, musical instruments, hobby goods, and books also increased significantly - 88.2%. Sales of cars and spare parts increased by 44.1%. And cafes and restaurants that opened after quarantine showed a 29.1% increase.
But when compared to the previous month, when sales were breaking records, annual comparisons show that the country's economy is still just beginning to recover. The total sales volume for May decreased by 6.1% compared to 2019.
Trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the publication of official data showed increased optimism for the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Index alone rose by more than 900 points in preliminary trades, and by late morning the average share value of the largest U.S. companies had risen by more than 500 points.