Saturday, May 16, 2020
Consumer spending tumbled a record 16.4% in April as the backbone of the U.S. economy retrenched amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government report Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the advanced retail sales number to fall 12.3% after March's reported 8.3% dive already had set a record for data going back to 1992. The March numbers were revised to be not as bad as the 8.7% initially reported. Some 68% of the nation's $21.5 trillion economy comes from personal consumption expenditures, which tumbled 7.6% in the first quarter just as social distancing measures aimed at containing the coronavirus began to take effect. The collapse in retail spending comes amid job losses unseen in the post-World War II U.S. Some 36.5 million Americans have filed claims for jobless benefits over the past eight weeks.
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