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Coronavirus pandemic sends retail sales tumbling to record lows

Coronavirus pandemic sends retail sales tumbling to record lows
Posted at 9:06 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 09:28:30-04

BALTIMORE — U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened stores across the country and weighed down a sinking economy.

The Commerce Department’s report on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so quickly that sales over the past 12 months are down a crippling 21.6%.

The sharpest drops from March to April were at clothiers, electronics stores, furniture stores and restaurants.

A long-standing migration of consumers toward online purchases is accelerating, with that segment posting a 8.4% monthly gain.

Measured year over year, online sales surged 21.6%.