Retail Sales Returned (Almost) to Normal in May

Here’s some pretty good news. Retail sales rebounded very nicely in May:

Retail sales declined by $79 billion between February and April, but recovered 81 percent of that loss in May. This is only a single month, and it’s not evidence of a “v-shaped” recovery—not yet, anyway—but it’s still good to see. With money from both the stimulus checks and the unemployment bonus finally reaching consumers, wallets are opening up.

How much of this rebound was due to e-commerce sales? Unfortunately, that’s tallied quarterly and the next report won’t be available until July. But I expect to see that it played a pretty big role.

Note that the chart above is for all retail sales except food services. The story there, where it’s something you do in person or not at all, is a lot less buoyant:

Restaurant sales plummeted by more than half between February and April, declining from $65 billion to $30 billion. In May they recovered only 26 percent of that loss. Even as restaurants slowly opened up, consumers remained wary of going out to eat.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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