U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales Crashed in April by Over 16 Percent

Store Closed COVID-19

This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce releases its estimates of sales in the retail and food services sector for April 2020.

As expected, physical retail took a huge toll, but nonstore retailers were up significantly over last year. While the collection methodology between Adobe’s Digital Economy Index and the commerce department is different, the government report confirms the huge spike in online sales as well.

Government Data Highlights on Retail Sales For April 2020

The advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $403.9 billion, a decrease of 16.4 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 21.6 percent (± 0.7 percent) below April 2019.

Total sales for the February 2020 through April 2020 period were down 7.7 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The February 2020 to March 2020 percent change was revised from down 8.4 percent (± 0.4 percent) to down 8.3 percent (± 0.3 percent).

Retail trade sales were down 15.1 percent (± 0.4 percent) from March 2020, and 17.8 percent (± 0.7 percent) below last year.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores were down 89.3 percent (± 1.8 percent) from April 2019, while nonstore retailers were up 21.6 percent (± 1.4 percent) from last year.

Here is the full report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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