On Friday, the 15th of May 2020, a basket of baleful economic data released by the US Commerce Department had reflected a deepening recession in the United States as the US retail sales had nosedived to a record low of 16.4 per cent in April, enduring a fourth straight month of decline, while the pandemic outbreak, which has been keeping a majority of American nationals locked down inside their homes despite an ease of the forced closures, had pummelled the US industrial activity at its steepest pace in 101 years.
If truth is to be told, Friday’s (May 15th) US economic data released by the Commerce Department combined with a historic job loss of over 20.5 million in April, had been a blazing vindication of Fed’s Powell’s warning on Wednesday (May 13th), while the Fed Chair had cautioned of a protracted period of weak growth in a post-pandemic United States.
Besides, according to US Commerce Department’s April retail sales data released on Friday (May 15th), on a monthly basis, the US retail sales had plunged by 16.4 per cent last month, the index’s largest decline on record since the US Government had started off tracking the data since 1992, missing an analysts’ forecast of a decline of 12.0 per cent, while on an annualized basis, US retail sales were slumped 21.6 per cent in April.
Meanwhile, referring to the US economy’s steepest downturn on record, a chief economist at MUFG in New York, Chris Rupkey said followed by the release of Friday’s (May 15th) US Commerce Department data, “This isn’t a recession, and it cannot even really be called a depression as the fall is so fast and swift that this downturn defies everything economists have seen in the last century. It is sobering if not downright scary. ”