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.