Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

While U.S. retail sales saw the largest month-over-month increase on record in May, year-over-year sales actually declined by 6.1%.

The big picture: Excluding the prior two months, May's $485.5 billion of sales was the lowest since August 2017.

  • Retail sales have been under $500 billion in each of the past three months after holding above that marker every month since May 2018.
  • Even after this month's bounceback, the decline from February to May is nearly equal to the largest decline recorded in a similar period during the Great Recession.

Worth noting: May's increase came during a time when parts of the country remained under quarantine orders and some states had yet to fully reopen.

  • And the 17.7% monthly jump is the largest in U.S. history.

Go deeper: Survival of the biggest: Coronavirus transforms retail

Go deeper

How the Robinhood effect is moving the stock market

Reproduced from BCA Research using Bloomberg data; Table: Axios Visuals

A report from BCA Research published Monday finds Robinhood users are moving into speculative bets at an incredible rate, radically increasing holdings in three groups of stocks — airlines, cruise ships and mortgage REITs.

What's happening: "Retail investors have provided institutions with an opportunity to exit stocks in the three stressed groups," Doug Peta, BCA's chief U.S. investment strategist, writes in the note.

Jun 24, 2020 - Health

The pandemic's lost years

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even while still living in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we're starting to see the long-term effects of lost schooling, curtailed travel and shuttered businesses.

Why it matters: The U.S. will see some $7.9 trillion in lost economic growth through this decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The World Bank, meanwhile, predicts global gross domestic product will shrink by 5.2% in 2020 alone — nearly three times as much as the 2009 recession.

Small businesses face post-lockdown cash crunch

A seamstress works at a sewing machine in a tailoring shop in Palm Springs, Calif. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

U.S. macroeconomic data is broadly improving but many small businesses are facing a perilous recovery as they attempt to stay afloat after coronavirus-driven lockdowns throughout the country. That's true even for the many that received government assistance.

By the numbers: A recent poll of 7,317 small business owners by Alignable finds that 43% of firms that received money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) say they could be out of cash in a month or less.