It was another rough month for retail.
U.S. retail sales at stores, gas stations, restaurants and bars fell a record 16.4%, marking the largest decline in the history of the report.
The total nearly doubled March’s drop of 8.7%.
Clothing and electronics and appliances were among the most affected sectors with clothing sales falling 78.8%.
Online sales, which are broken out in a separate category, rose 8.4%.
Many consumers are holding on to their cash as the social distancing implemented to combat the coronavirus has resulted in mass layoffs in furloughs across the U.S. and the world. In the latest read of U.S. jobless claims, over 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. One in five U.S. workers has now filed for unemployment benefits in the last seven weeks.
The disparaging data comes before a week loaded with retail earnings reports. Investors expect results from Walmart (WMT) - Get Report, Home Depot (HD) - Get Report, Target (TGT) - Get Report, Kohl’s (KSS) - Get Report and more.
While discouraging, no one on Wall Street was expecting a positive result. Should investors get a little more optimistic as many states prepare or are amid the process of reopening their economies?