Another encouraging sign for the recovering economy: Retail sales rose 17.7 percent in May from the previous month, setting a new record. The gain easily topped the previous record of 6.7 percent from October 2001 — a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Clothing and accessories stores reported the biggest percentage gain at 188 percent. The category comprising sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and book stores rose 88.2 percent. After being almost completely shuttered during the lockdown, food services and drinking places saw a 29.1 percent rebound in May.
Note, though, that the economy is still making up for lost ground. Despite the strong bounceback, total sales were still down 6.1 percent from a year ago.