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Today the U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary estimates of nationwide retail sales in April 2021 and revised estimates for March 2021. (The data include both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales.)

Retail Sales Remain Elevated. April retail sales were nearly equal to March sales and 51 percent above April 2020, when much of the country was under stay-at-home orders. March’s gain was the second largest in at least 25 years, trailing only May 2020, when the stay-at-home orders were relaxed. With this high April figure, cumulative sales from March 2020 through April 2021 are now up 4 percent (a normal growth rate) over the previous 14 month period from January 2019 to February 2020.


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