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Commerce locks up and retail sales plunge unprecedented 8.7%

 

Last updated 4/15/2020 at 10:22am

CHRISTOPHER RUGABER and ANNE D'INNOCENZIO

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. retail sales plummeted 8.7% in March, an unprecedented decline, as the viral outbreak forced an almost complete lockdown of commerce nationwide.

The deterioration of sales far outpaced the previous record decline of 3.9% that took place during the depths of the Great Recession in November 2008.

Auto sales dropped 25.6%, while clothing store sales collapsed, sliding 50.5%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Restaurants and bars reported a nearly 27% fall in revenue.

U.S. consumer confidence has plunged...



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