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Retail sales surge a record 17.7% in May, but coronavirus wounds still visible


The numbers: Sales at U.S. retailers roared back in May as the economy started to reopen and claw its way out of what’s likely to have been the shortest and deepest recession in American history.

Retail sales jumped a record 17.7% last month, the government said Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast an 8.5% increase.

Sales had tumbled by a record 14.7% in April and 8.2% in March, revised statistics show.

The rebound in sales largely reflects the loosening of restrictions on business activity after two months of stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Along with pentup consumer demand, federal tax payments to families and…


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