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US Retail Sales Post Record Spike in May, Fueling Hopes of Recovery

The economy also added 2.5M jobs.

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U.S. retail sales increased 17.7% in May compared to April for a record spike as businesses reopened following coronavirus lockdowns, according to just-released Commerce Department data.

The growth followed record dips in March and April, The Associated Press reports. Overall buying in May was still 6.1 lower than it was in the same month a year prior.

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The increase brought hopes that the economy may be starting to recover. It was accompanied by the addition of 2.5 million jobs.

“While the big increase in retail sales in May is encouraging, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty about the strength of the rebound,” Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, was quoted saying, adding that it could be afffected by “a lot of factors outside of the economics.”

As many as 25,000 U.S. retail stores are likely to close their doors for good this year, compared to 9,000 last year, according to Coresight Research.

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And May’s retail growth was not spread evenly. Data from GlobalData Retail showed that losses totaled $2.5 billion for a cohort of 35 non-essential retailers, including jewelry chains, for the three months ended in May. The same group posted a total profit of nearly $9 billion for the same period a year ago, according to the AP.

Read more at the The Associated Press

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