Overseas Headlines – May 15, 2020

United States:

U.S. Retail Sales Fell 16.4% in April, Worse Than March Record

“U.S. retail sales plunged in April, shattering the prior record set just a month earlier, as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses, spurred layoffs and kept Americans at home. Revenue at retailers and restaurants fell 16.4% in April from the prior month, almost double the 8.3% drop in March which was previously the worst in data back to 1992, according to a Commerce Department report released Friday. That compared with the median projection for a 12% decline.”



Germany Plunges Into Recession With Biggest Slump in Decade

“The German economy shrank 2.2% in the first quarter, the most in more than a decade, offering an early flavor of the damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Less than two weeks of official lockdown caused slumps in consumer spending and capital investment. Government spending and construction provided some stabilization.”



China’s Cautious Economic Reboot Is a Warning for the World

“China has a lesson for the world: An economy is harder to reboot than it is to shut down. Fresh data for the month of April, covering a period when the government pushed hard to reopen the economy as the coronavirus came under control, show that retail sales continue to fall as consumers shun restaurants and curb spending on other non-essential items. While factory output rose for the first time since the virus struck and state investment improved, private investment remained anemic. Worryingly for manufacturers who are already battling deflation and a slump in global demand, inventories are stacking up as supply outstrips demand.”



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