Nationwide sales of retail, food services plummet in March, April amid social distancing, stay-at-home orders

As many businesses are operating on decreased capacities or have shut down completely, one side effect is a dip in monthly sales for retail and food services. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As many businesses are operating on decreased capacities or have shut down completely, one side effect is a dip in monthly sales for retail and food services. (Courtesy Fotolia)

As many businesses are operating on decreased capacities or have shut down completely, one side effect is a dip in monthly sales for retail and food services. (Courtesy Fotolia)

As many businesses are operating on decreased capacities or have shut down completely, one side effect is a dip in monthly sales for retail and food services.

U.S. Census Bureau data released May 15 reports $403.9 billion in April sales nationwide due to limitations in place in response to the coronavirus, a decrease of 16.4% from March.


This figure is 21.6% lower than sales in April 2019, according to census data. The data also showed a month-over-month decrease of 8.3% in March, with a total of $483.5 billion in spending.

When social distancing orders began going into effect across the country in March and people began experiencing job losses or diminished wages, total sales in the U.S. plummeted.

For more information, visit census.gov or https://fred.stlouisfed.org.
By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


MOST RECENT

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Fort Bend County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County reports 85 new cases June 5, more than yesterday's record number

This is the second day in a row the county has reported more than 80 cases.

(Graphic by Chase Brooks/Community Impact Newspaper)
Quail Valley Golf Course drives for record number of rounds played in May

With members of the community taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many are looking to outdoor activities, including golf.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Protests throughout Houston and more: Popular stories from this week

Read the latest news from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

Raveneaux Country Club was one of thousands of properties that flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Houston Office of Emergency Management shares hurricane prep tips as Gulf storm nears landfall

With a storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and expected to make landfall in Louisiana by Sunday and with a global pandemic still spreading, officials and residents are changing how they prepare for a more active hurricane season.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

Here is the latest coronavirus case count information from Fort Bend County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
With 81 new cases June 4, Fort Bend County coronavirus case total surpasses 2,000

This is the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

OrangeCrate Fort Bend is the first OrangeCrate franchise in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Locally owned delivery service OrangeCrate launches in Fort Bend County

OrangeCrate differs from other deliver companies because it is locally owned and focuses on partnering with local businesses, operator Cody Lee said.

Cities in Fort Bend County will receive federal funds to help with coronavirus pandemic expenditures. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here’s how much CARES Act funds Sugar Land, Katy and other cities are receiving from Fort Bend County

Three cities—Sugar Land, Missouri City and Rosenberg—received more than $1 million each.

The George Ranch Historical Park aims to bring Texas and Fort Bend County history to life. (Courtesy George Ranch Historical Park)
George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond begins phased reopening June 4-6

Families are invited to travel back in time this weekend at the George Ranch Historical Park.

Star Cinema Grill has several locations throughout the Houston area. (Courtesy Star Cinema Grill)
Houston-based Star Cinema Grill prepares to reopen all locations

The Houston-based theater chain plans to open all locations by mid-July.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.