US retail sales print record drop in April
-16.4pct

The headline print plunged below the expected fall of 12pct after March’s revised -8.3pct reading, formerly the worst since 1992. Retail sales ex. autos fell 17.2pct to miss the estimate of an 8.5pct decline.

-15.3pct

The control group – used for GDP calculation purposes and seen by analysts as a more reliable gauge of underlying consumer demand – came in more than three times under the forecast of -5.0pct, although the prior figure was revised three-tenths higher to 2.0pct. The data shows that the slowdown continued into the first part of the second quarter, as consumers went into lockdown and layoffs began to mount.

2

All bar two of the 14 major categories posted a decrease. The biggest falls were seen in clothing and accessories, which amounted to an 89.3pct decline from the same period a year ago. Grocery stores and internet retailers were the only areas to report an increase in sales.