“Although in being intellectually honest,” he says, “the severity of the loss of production defies context, thereby translating it directly into a specific level for rates or equity valuations would be an effort misspent.” In other words, investors can’t be sure markets are effectively pricing in the kinds of second-quarter numbers we’re going to start seeing. Even the auto segment, retail's biggest, was down by about a third to $68.5 billion. British retail sales plummeted by a record amount in April as many stores closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers visit http://www.djreprints.com.https://www.barrons.com/articles/april-retail-sales-will-be-dismal-watch-out-if-jobless-benefits-expire-too-soon-51589481001More than 36 million Americans have lost a job amid the coronavirus pandemic in little more than a month, but the economic consequences of mass joblessness are just starting to play out. On a year-over-year basis, sales fell 21.6%. Market data powered by But in April, they were still up significantly from a year ago. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.
Target said that digital sales jumped 275% in the first three weeks of April, and strong growth in the category is likely to continue as consumers are reluctant to visit stores while the virus is circulating.Investors will get further insight into the sector when several major retailers post first-quarter earnings reports next week. Here are three data points you should know about.Both retailers offered bonuses to employees, and Lowe's said it would spend more than $250 million in extra pay and safety improvements because of COVID-19. That's encouraging news not only for online retailers but also brick-and-mortar chains like Target that have built up their digital channels in recent years. This finding suggests that extended unemployment benefits under the Cares Act—on top of state-specific unemployment insurance, the federal government through July 31 is giving an additional $600 to anyone receiving state unemployment benefits—should help put a floor under consumer-spending declines, at least through July. Investors will get their first real look Friday at the impact on consumer spending when the Census Bureau releases April retail sales.
When benefits ran out, spending dropped 12%. Despite sales at grocery stores falling 13.2% from March to April to $64 billion, that figure still represented a 13.2% increase, the same pace, from last April, indicating strong demand for groceries even after the initial stocking-up period.Considering restaurants across much of the country remain shuttered or limited to takeout and delivery and even those that are open have limits on capacity, demand at supermarkets is likely to continue to be elevated as long as social distancing practices are in effect.That should be good news for operators like It's hard to understate the damage in some corners if the retail industry.
Investors will get their first real look Friday at the impact on consumer spending when the Census Bureau releases April retail sales.
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