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We want to hear from you.Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inboxGet this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. Because that’s going to have to be the key driver of spending going forward.”The positive numbers in May also mask some of the intense strain on businesses.While his White Electric Coffee shop in Providence, R.I., was closed, Tom Toupin sold a special “Stay at Home” brew online, donating 20 percent of the sales to the state’s Covid-19 relief fund.In preparing to reopen this month, Mr. Toupin spent about $1,000 on a device that enables contactless payments and reconfigured the front counter and register to create more distance between employees and customers.“I was so excited to open up the shop again,” Mr. Toupin said. “Looks like a BIG DAY FOR THE STOCK MARKET, AND JOBS!” he But Jerome H. Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, “Until the public is confident that the disease is contained, a full recovery is unlikely,” he said. She said she expected to return to a paid position soon.Aneta Markowska, the chief financial economist for the investment bank Jefferies, said that while she had anticipated a jump in retail sales in May, it was off “a pretty low hurdle.” The bigger question was the sustainability of any improvement, since spending was bolstered by tax refunds and government stimulus efforts.“By the time we get into July, those tax refunds will probably be largely spent,” Ms. Markowska said, “and then you’re back to, hey, what’s the underlying employment growth? Still, clothing sales were down 63 percent from a year earlier, while furniture was down 22 percent.Note: Data are the percentage change to May 2020 from April 2020 and May 2019, and are based on seasonally adjusted figures.No matter how fleeting, the rebound in May was a welcome boost, especially for small businesses like The store carries a selection of best sellers, books on race and books on the city’s maritime history. Compared to May last year, retail sales increased 3.2%. Gap, which owns Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta, said this month that its reopened stores in North America were generating sales at nearly 70 percent of their performance last year.

By early afternoon, the market had sprung back, with the S&P 500 ending the day up 1.9 percent.Economists had expected a rebound from April, when widespread business closures drove retail sales to their lowest level since 2013, though the gain was greater than some had expected.After more than a month of quarantine, May brought a tentative restart of brick-and-mortar retailing across most of the country, with major chains like Macy’s and Gap reopening hundreds of stores.

We still have a long way to go in repairing the economy.”May’s retail sales figures became the latest data point fueling the debate in Washington and on Wall Street about whether a broad reopening of businesses will cause the economy to snap back quickly or if additional stimulus measures are needed.President Trump immediately seized on the positive monthly figures as evidence that a recovery was taking hold. Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Crew Factory in an outlet mall in Westbrook, Conn.; signs said that the store’s capacity was 10 people and that masks were required. Kohl’s said last month that its reopened stores were about 50 percent to 60 percent as productive as they would typically be. For some, shopping is simply less fun and far more transactional in the pandemic era.On Sunday, shoppers waited outside the J. But they were also lifted by stimulus money — totaling $1,200 per recipient, plus $500 per child — that will run out in the coming months, with no indications that Congress intends to pass another round of assistance.A jump in spending on motor vehicles and at restaurants and bars accounted for just over half of the overall gain in sales. Clothing and accessories stores reported the biggest percentage gain at 188% while sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and book stores rose 88.2%.The government numbers, released an hour before the start of stock trading, added to an upbeat mood on Wall Street, with Dow rising more than 900 points in the premarket. “The longer the downturn lasts, the greater the potential for longer-term damage from permanent job loss and business closures.”The mixed signals about the economy fueled volatile trading on Wall Street. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales advanced 0.5% last month after an … Gap, for example, noted that it was seeing better results at Old Navy stores, which are often away from enclosed shopping malls, as customers were more confident in such locations and better able to take advantage of new services like curbside pickup.Enclosed malls “seem like the weakest channel out there now in terms of traffic,” Mr. And many of the stores and restaurants that welcomed back customers last month did so with fewer employees, reflecting a permanently altered retail landscape and an ominous sign for the labor market.“I think a lot of it is lockdown fatigue,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global.

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