Research Brief: Retail Sales – April 2020
Implications of COVID-19 on retail emerge. Retail sales dropped
a record 8.7 percent in March as much of the country shuttered all
but essential retailers and social distancing guidelines stemmed
traffic at others. Core retail sales, which exclude auto and gas,
dipped 3.1 percent, highlighting the divided nature of the strain
on retail. March’s figure offers a glimpse into the damage done to
retailers by shutting down much of the consumer-based economy.
However, April has the potential to see the lowest absolute retail
sales during the downturn, while stimulus checks boost sales in
May. The average date for statewide stay-at-home orders is March
27 and 18 states enacted the order after April 1 or not at all.