The impact of the third round of stimulus died in May.
- Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $620.2 billion, a decrease of 1.3% from the previous month, but 28.1 percent above May 2020.
- Total sales for the March 2021 through May 2021 period were up 36.2 percent from the same period a year ago.
- The March 2021 to April 2021 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged to up 0.9 percent.
Retail Sales as Reported and Revised
The above chart is from Bloomberg Econoday. I created the lead chart from a BLS data download.
Covid has so distorted the month-over month and year-over-year numbers that such comparisons look ridiculous.
However, the three big peaks in the lead chart following the initial Covid-related plunge tell the story.
The stimulus has now worn off. What will Biden and the Fed do for an encore?