The May retail sales report will peel back the curtain on the health of the U.S. consumer amid one of the worst global pandemics in modern history. The consumer is expected to have rebounded following April’s record plunge in retail sales. While COVID-19 likely put some pressure on consumer spending during May, economists predict online sales maintained their strength. Even spending in the beaten down core components are expected to have rebounded in May.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect headline retail sales rose 8%, up from a 16.4% decline in April. Meanwhile, retail sales excluding the volatile auto and gas components likely jumped 5% in May, up from a 16.2% plunge in April.
“As many states continued to ease restrictions on resident mobility and nonessential business activity, various high-frequency estimates of consumer spending data indicated solid increases in major discretionary categories in May following historical declines in April,” Nomura economist