US retail sales plunge amid pandemic lockdowns

US retail sales plunged 16.4 percent in April as consumers cut spending amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the Commerce Department reported Friday.Analysts expected sales to drop 12.3 percent. Consumer spending represents about two-thirds of the US economy.The US Federal Reserve is expected to announce Friday that industrial production declined a seasonally adjusted 11.1 percent in April, the sharpest monthly decline in more than 100 years.Government-mandated travel restrictions, business closures and social distancing pummeled retail sales. Many enterprises remain closed or are slowly …

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