Legal Implications of Secondary SAFT Sales, Part 2 By Cointelegraph



Legal Implications of Secondary SAFT Sales, Part 2

The United States Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department have published minimal guidance on the tax treatment of virtual currency and no guidance on Simple Agreement for Future Tokens or secondary forward contracts on SAFTs. Accordingly, it is difficult to determine the appropriate U.S. federal income tax treatment of a secondary forward contract on a SAFT.

In 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-21 and updated it with FAQs that provided that convertible virtual currency is treated as “property and general tax principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.” Thus, a corporation’s issuance of such virtual currency tokens is taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Australia retail sales see record surge in May as economy reopens By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk to and from a shopping mall entrance in the city centre in Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian retail sales saw a record surge in May, official data showed on Friday, as a wide scale easing in coronavirus lockdowns allowed entire sectors to reopen, enabling a recovery from an historic plunge in April.

The strong bounce suggests consumer spending will not be nearly as weak as first feared in the June quarter, offering hope the economy can recover quickly from its first recession in three decades.

Retail sales jumped a seasonally adjusted 16.9% in May, from April when it tumbled 17.7%. Sales were also up over 5% on May last year at A$28.97 billion ($20.06 billion), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australia eased lockdown restrictions in May as it successfully contained the spread of the virus and reopened its economy before many other advanced nations. The country has just over 8,000 coronavirus cases with 104 deaths.

Also in May, there was a massive month-on-month increase of 129.2% in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services saw a surge of 30.3%, with both sectors coming off very low levels of trade in April.

Levels in clothing and footwear industries however remain well below the same time last year, the ABS reported.

The optimism since late April has also been reflected in credit card spending by major banks.

According to the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), card spending in the week to June 26 was up 4.5% on a year ago after a 7.1% lift for the week ended June 19.

Separate data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed the slowest decline in new vehicle sales since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. New vehicle sales fell 6.4% compared with June 2019, following double digit year-on-year declines in March, April and May.

Economists are keeping a close eye on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monthly policy meeting on Tuesday for any upgrades in forecasts ahead of its quarterly outlook due in August.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Irish monthly retail sales rebound, still down 27% year on year By Reuters



© Reuters.

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irish retail sales rose 29.5% month on month in May, reflecting both the partial reopening of the economy and a record drop in April, but were still 26.6% lower than a year ago, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Monday.

Retail sales in April had tumbled 35.4% month on month and 43.3% year on year.

A reopening of the economy began in mid-May and a further easing in early June was followed by the reopening of most of the economy on Monday.

The rebound in May marked the largest monthly increase on record and was driven by a 153.9% jump in the motor trade, a 92.5% rise in hardware and an 85.9% improvement in furniture and lighting.

All three categories were still down year on year, led by drops of 74.6% and 51.3% in furniture and car sales, respectively.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Japan’s retail sales extend slump as coronavirus curbs keep shoppers away By Reuters



© Reuters. A vendor, wearing protective mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), works at the almost empty Kansai International Airport in Osaka

By Daniel Leussink and Yoshifumi Takemoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – Retail sales in Japan tumbled at a double-digit pace for the second straight month in May as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures delivered a heavy blow to consumer confidence and economic recovery prospects.

The sustained downturn in demand raises risks that the world’s third-largest economy could remain mired in recession longer than expected and a revival may be more sluggish.

Retail sales fell 12.3% in May from a year earlier, pulled down by a slump in spending on big ticket items such as cars as well as clothing and general merchandise, trade ministry data showed on Monday.

The decline followed a 13.9% drop in April, which was the biggest fall since March 1998, and was worse than a 11.6% fall forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

Policymakers are hoping a rebound in private spending, which accounts for more than half of the economy, will help support growth as uncertainty over the global demand outlook threatens to delay a recovery.

Compared to a month earlier, retail sales in May saw their first rise in three months, increasing a seasonally adjusted 2.1% following a 9.9% drop in April.

“Although consumption has picked up a little, there was a strong sense of caution towards the infection and customers were slow to come back,” said Takumi Tsunoda, senior economist at Shinkin Central Bank Research.

Some analysts say cash payouts of 100,000 yen ($933) per citizen in response to the pandemic could fuel a bout of “revenge spending” following the lifting of a state of emergency in May and as more people get used to social distancing measures, which remain in place in crowded areas.

Midori, a 29-year-old worker at an electric instrument maker who declined to give her last name, said only one of her friends has received the government payout so far.

“I think consumption will decline compared to before the coronavirus outbreak,” she said on Saturday while going shopping in Yokohama, adding that she plans to invest part of the cash handout and spend the rest on daily life essentials.

Shinkin’s Tsunoda worries that a weakening economy and “strong sense of uncertainty about the future” could lead to cuts in year-end bonus payouts and employment adjustments by firms.

The economy is forecast to contract by more than 20% on an annualised basis this quarter, marking the third straight quarter of decline, with business activity hit by lockdown measures from April through late May.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Google faces employee petition to end tech sales to police By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of Google logo in this illustration picture

By Paresh Dave

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – More than 1,600 workers at Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc are petitioning its Google unit to stop selling email and other services to police departments, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The workers in a petition seen by Reuters expressed disappointment with Google not joining the “millions who want to defang and defund” police departments. Civil rights activists across the United States for years have called for scaling back traditional policing, and the efforts have gained momentum through protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month.

“We should not be in the business of profiting from racist policing,” the Google petition said. It cited sales of the company’s G Suite package, which includes tools for email, document editing and file storage, to the police department in Clarkstown, New York.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters in response, “We have longstanding terms of use for generally available computing platforms like Gmail, G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, and these products will remain available for governments and local authorities, including police departments, to use.”

Clarkstown police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google has faced internal criticism in the past over sales and partnerships involving the U.S. military, as well as foreign governments seen by human rights activists as authoritarian.

While the company has pulled back from some deals like facial recognition, it has responded to concerns by saying it remains committed to helping governments with cybersecurity and other issues.

“We’re committed to work that makes a meaningful difference to combat systemic racism, and our employees have made over 500 product suggestions in recent weeks, which we are reviewing,” the spokesperson added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. home sales hit 9-1/2-year low; price growth cools By Reuters



© Reuters. Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of Portland

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than 9-1/2 years in May, strengthening expectations for a sharp contraction in housing market activity in the second quarter following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report from the National Association of Realtors on Monday also showed the smallest annual home price increase in more than eight years. The slump in existing home sales reflected closings on contracts signed in March and April, when nearly the whole country was under lockdowns to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

With applications for home loans surging to an 11-year high in recent weeks amid record low mortgage rates, May was probably the nadir for the existing housing market. Data last week showed a sharp rebound in building permits in May. But nearly 20 million people are unemployed and housing supply remains tight.

“Home sales may bounce with pent-up demand following the shutdown of the economy starting in March, but the massive scale of job losses and cautious consumers rebuilding their savings may limit sales,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “There is still a long road to recovery for the broader economy.”

Existing home sales fell 9.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million units last month, the lowest level since October 2010. It was the third straight monthly drop. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales would fall 3% to a rate of 4.12 million units in May.

Home resales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, decreased 26.6% on a year-on-year basis in May, the largest annual decline since 1982. There were 1.55 million previously owned homes on the market in May, down 18.8% from a year ago.

Stocks on Wall Street were trading higher as investors weighed stimulus-fueled recovery hopes against an increase in U.S. coronavirus infections. The PHLX housing index () was little changed. The dollar () fell against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices rose.

SHIFT TO SUBURBS

Home sales fell in all four regions last month. The NAR said with many companies allowing greater flexibility for employees to work from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for housing was skewed towards single-family homes, mostly in the suburbs.

Economists believe the migration to suburbs from city centers could ease some of the housing shortage. A homebuilder survey last week showed strong demand in June for single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs featuring lower density neighborhoods.

Single-family home sales dropped 24.8% in May from a year ago, while multi-family homes plunged 41.4%.

The median existing house price rose 2.3% from a year ago to $284,600 in May. That was the smallest gain since February 2012. Though single-family home prices increased, the median condominium price fell.

“Although demand certainly dropped in March and April due to the crisis, supply dropped even more, and has thus far kept home prices from declining,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington. “We expect that home price growth will pick up over the summer due to insufficient supply levels.”

Last month’s slump in home sales, together with a modest rise in homebuilding in May, suggested a big drop in residential investment this quarter after it grew at its fastest rate in more than seven years in the first quarter.

Economists are forecasting residential investment will decline at around a 20% annualized rate in the second quarter. That would contribute to gross domestic product sinking at as much as a 37.5% pace during that period, they say.

The economy contracted at a 5% rate in the first quarter, the sharpest since the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

At May’s sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the current inventory of pre-owned homes on the market, up from 4.3 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

Last month, houses for sale typically stayed on the market for 26 days, down from 27 days in April, but matching the duration a year ago. Fifty-eight percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 34% of sales in May, down from 36% in April but up from 32% a year ago.



U.S. existing home sales slump to nine and a half year low By Reuters




WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than 9-1/2 years in May, strengthening expectations for a sharp contraction in housing market activity in the second quarter following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales fell 9.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million units last month, the lowest level since October 2010. Last month’s sales reflected closings of contracts signed in March and April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales would fall 3% to a rate of 4.12 million units in May.

Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, decreased 26.6% on a year-on-year basis in May, the largest annual decline since 1982.

May was probably the nadir for the existing housing market, with applications for home loans surging to an 11-year high in recent weeks amid record low mortgage rates. Data last week showed a sharp rebound in building permits in May.

Though businesses have reopened after being shuttered in mid-March to control the spread of COVID-19, nearly 20 million people are unemployed. In addition, the supply of homes available for sale is still tight, indicating a strong housing market recovery is unlikely.

Last month’s slump in home sales, together with a modest rise in homebuilding in May, suggested a decline in residential investment this quarter after it grew at its fastest rate in more than seven years in the first quarter.

Home sales last month declined in all four U.S. regions.

There were 1.55 million previously owned homes on the market in May, down 18.8% from a year ago. The median existing house price rose 2.3% from a year ago to $284,600 in May. That was the smallest gain since February 2012.

At May’s sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the current inventory, up from 4.3 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Canadian retail sales down record 26.4% in April on coronavirus shutdowns By Reuters


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© Reuters. A woman carries shopping bags while walking past a window display outside a retail store in Ottawa

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By Kelsey Johnson

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian retail sales plummeted 26.4% in April, posting a record decline for a second consecutive month, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to wallop the economy, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday, but sales are expected to rebound in May.

Officials shut most non-essential businesses across Canada, beginning in mid-March, to slow the spread of the coronavirus and urged people to stay home.

Sales were down in all 11 subsectors for the first time in 27 years, with motor vehicle and parts dealers taking the largest hit in April. Food and beverage stores and gasoline stations also contributed to the decline.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 15.1% decline for April, while a Statistics Canada flash estimate released last month predicted a 15.6% decline. The statistical agency revised March’s record decline to 9.9% from an initial 10%.

In a preliminary flash estimate, Statistics Canada said retail sales in May could rise by 19.1%.

“It’s a long road back from these April lows,” said BMO Chief Economist Doug Porter in a note.

All 10 Canadian provinces posted double-digit slumps, with the largest drops occurring in Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two most populous provinces. Retail sales plunged 32.8% in Ontario, while Quebec posted a 27.8% decline.

“Retailers were devastated by the shutdowns and physical distancing measures employed in April,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

“It wasn’t all bad news in the report though. Retailers who had an online presence were able to capitalize on some of the shifts in buying patterns,” he said.

Online sales surged to a record high, representing 9.5% of the total retail market, Statscan said, while on a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce more than doubled.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Dollar firm after retail sales jump fans recovery hopes By Reuters



© Reuters.

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar held firm against many of its rivals on Wednesday after U.S. retail sales jumped far more than expected in May, while risk-sensitive currencies were hobbled by concerns about the coronavirus and diplomatic tensions in Asia.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell also doused some of the rosy expectations on Tuesday, as he painted a rather bleak picture of the U.S. economy.

The () stood at 97.003, having risen about 0.4% on Tuesday.

The euro traded at $1.12635 (), having lost 0.5% on Tuesday and in consolidation after hitting a three-month high of $1.14225 a week ago.

The Australian dollar eased off 0.4% to $0.6861 , slipping further from Tuesday’s high of $0.6977.

“In Asia, there is a bit of risk-off mood following a renewed outbreak of coronavirus in Beijing and also some geopolitical tensions in the region,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of currencies at Societe Generale (OTC:).

China sharply ramped up restrictions on people leaving the capital on Tuesday in an effort to stop the most serious coronavirus flare-up since February from spreading to other cities and provinces.

North Korea on Tuesday blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town in 2018 to foster better ties with South Korea, while India’s army said 20 of its soldiers had been killed in clashes with Chinese troops at a disputed border site in the western Himalayas.

Against the yen, the dollar was little changed at 107.39 yen , stuck in a narrow range so far this week.

Tuesday’s data showed U.S. retail sales jumping 17.7% last month, outstripping economists’ median forecast of 8.0% increase.

The surge in retail sales last month recouped 63% of March and April’s decreases, raising hopes of a quick recovery in the consumption, the driver of the U.S. economy.

Still, Fed chairman Powell had a word of caution in his testimony at Congress, saying a full U.S. economic recovery will not occur until the American people are sure that the novel coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control.

That still remains far from certain, with new coronavirus infections hitting record highs in six U.S. states, including populous Texas and Florida, on Tuesday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. economy starts long recovery as retail sales post record jump By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Retail shops in Brooklyn as phase one reopening continues during outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

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By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales increased by the most on record in May after two straight months of sharp declines as businesses reopened, offering more evidence that the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic was over or drawing to an end.

The report from the Commerce Department on Tuesday followed news early this month that the economy created 2.5 million jobs in May. Layoffs are also ebbing and manufacturing activity is improving, though production remains at very low levels.

The surge in retail sales last month recouped 63% of March and April’s decreases. But the journey to recovery could be long and difficult as some parts of the country are experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. In addition, enhanced federal government unemployment checks will run out in July.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that “until the public is confident that the disease is contained, a full recovery is unlikely.”

Retail sales jumped 17.7% last month, the biggest advance since the government started tracking the series in 1992. Sales dropped a record 14.7% in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would rise 8% in May.

Retail sales fell 6.1% on a year-on-year basis in May. Even with May’s surge, sales were still about 8% below their February level, leaving consumer spending and the economy on track for their biggest contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression. The economy slipped into recession in February.

“The economy and retail sales have hit the bottom in May and we have a V-shaped first stage of recovery,” said Sung Won Sohn, a business economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “However, it will take quite some time to get back to anywhere near the levels of retail sales and economic activity we enjoyed around the turn of the year.”

The reopening last month of nonessential businesses that were shuttered in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19 has seen Americans flocking to car dealerships and spending more on gasoline, apparel and at restaurants.

Though nearly 20 million people have lost their jobs to the pandemic, record savings and the government’s historic fiscal package of nearly $3 trillion are providing a cushion for consumers through one-time $1,200 checks and generous unemployment benefits. The unprecedented economic upheaval saw personal savings increasing at a record $337 billion in April and the saving rate hitting an all-time high of 33%.

MANUFACTURING STABILIZING

The recovery in retail sales last month was led by a 44.1% acceleration in sales at auto dealerships.

Receipts at service stations increased 12.8%. Sales at electronics and appliance stores soared 50.5%. Receipts at clothing stores rebounded 188% last month. Still, clothing store sales remained about 63% below their February level.

Sales at furniture stores soared 89.7%. Receipts at restaurants and bars advanced 29.1%. Spending at hobby, musical instrument and book stores vaulted 88.2%. All these categories had suffered record declines in sales in March and April.

Online and mail-order retail sales rose 9.0%. Sales at building material stores rose 10.9%.

The surge in demand for motor vehicles helped to lift manufacturing production 3.8% in May, a separate report from the Fed showed on Tuesday, after collapsing by a record 15.5% in April. Manufacturing, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy, remains hobbled by supply-chain disruptions.

Cheaper has made oil and gas wells unprofitable, impacting demand for heavy equipment and machinery.

“We expect a gradual recovery over the next few years, with growth lagging that of the overall economy,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial (NYSE:) in Pittsburgh. “One potential upside risk is if firms decide to shorten their supply chains because of the pandemic and the associated disruptions to global trade, moving manufacturing capacity back to the U.S.”

Stocks on Wall Street rallied on the reports and data showing reduced COVID-19 death rates in a trial of a generic steroid drug. The dollar () rose against a basket of currencies. Prices of U.S. Treasuries fell.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales surged 11% in May after tumbling 12.4% in April. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the gross domestic product report.

Economists expect consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, could decline at as much as a 37% annualized rate in the second quarter. That could result in GDP falling at around a 36% pace in that period.

Consumer spending contracted at a 6.8% rate in the first quarter, the sharpest drop since the second quarter of 1980. The economy shrank at a 5% pace in the January-March quarter, the deepest contraction since the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

Weak GDP this quarter was underscored by other data on Tuesday showing a tumble in business inventories in April.