For the last several weeks, all we have heard is how Americans have been sitting at home and gambling away their stimulus checks in the stock market. Well, if that’s true, how did they ever find the time or the money to spend like they did in May? Relative to April, Retail Sales rose by a record 17.7%, which was more than double expectations and well more than double the next strongest month back in October 2001.
Even after the largest monthly increase on record, Retail Sales remain well in the hole compared to where they were at their highs in January. In fact, through May the pace of sales on a seasonally adjusted basis was still nearly 40% off the highs.
For anyone with more than a passing interest in how the economic shutdown is impacting economic data, our monthly update on retail sales is a must-read. To see the report, sign up for a monthly Bespoke Premium membership now!