US retail sales have grown steadily over the past decade. In 2009, total US retail sales amounted to $3.61 trillion. Fast forward a decade to 2019 and that number has grown to $5.45 trillion.
This is a 50.91 percent increase over a ten-year period and a 3.42 percent year-over-year growth from the previous year’s retail sales figures.
Despite retail sales growth in 2019, figures show a slight slowdown in the year-over-year increase when compared with 2017 to 2018’s growth of 4.23 percent. In 2017, US retail sales breached the $5 trillion mark for the very first time in history.
This is, however, nowhere near the relatively meager 1.90 percentage growth from 2014 to 2015 – the smallest year-over-year increase of the decade.
The strongest annual growth in the past ten years came in 2011. At just over $4.1 trillion, it’s a whopping 7.47 percent increase from 2010’s total retail sales figures.
US Retail Sales in 2020
Even though the total number of US retail sales continue to increase on a yearly basis, 2020 is seeing this growth come to a halt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is evident in the US retail sales statistics of April 2020, where sales fell to $382.7 billion. This was a 12.66 percent fall from the previous month and a 15.33 percent year-over-year decrease.
According to official data, clothing stores were the hardest hit as their April sales figures plummeted 86.4 percent year-over-year. Furniture store sales also fell drastically by 58.7 percent from April 2019.
On the other hand, health and personal care retail stores marked an 11.1 percent year-over-year increase in sales.
However, consumer sentiment appears to be on the rebound. Retail sales rose back up to $448.2 billion in May, a 17.1 percent increase from April. This figure further increased to $476.9 billion in June, which is also the highest monthly US retail sales ever registered.
Overall, total retail sales in the US for the first half of 2020 closed at $2.67 trillion, a marginal 0.9 percent year-over-year decrease.
Despite the slight slowdown in growth, analysts are still expecting total retail sales in the US to increase by between 3.5 percent and 4.1 percent in 2020.