US retail sales plunge by record 8.7% in March amid shutdown

National

A store employee waits for customers at a re-opened retail street in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Monday, March 30, 2020. Shopkeepers in the city at the center of China’s virus outbreak were reopening Monday but customers were scarce after authorities lifted more of the anti-virus controls that kept tens of millions of people at home for two months. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales plummeted 8.7% in March, a record drop as the viral outbreak closed down thousands of stores and shoppers stayed home.

Sales fell sharply across many categories: Auto sales dropped 25.6%, while clothing store sales collapsed, sliding 50.5%.

U.S. consumer confidence has plunged and the vast majority of Americans are hunkered down at home under shelter in place orders.

Grocery store sales, however, jumped by nearly 26% as Americans stocked up on food and consumer goods to ride out the pandemic. A category that includes mostly online sales rose 3.1%.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss