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Social distancing likely resulted in dramatic weakening in total retail sales, economists at TD Securities apprise.

Key quotes

“We are projecting an eye-catching 7.5% m/m drop in the headline number for March, which would beat the largest decline on record at -6.5% in Jan 1987.” 

“Although a good chunk of the decline in total sales is likely to be explained by tumbling auto sales, we expect the headline ex-auto segment to also post a significant decline (-5.0% m/m).”

“The weakest reading on record for the headline index in the Empire State survey, with data back to 2001, is -34.3 in February 2009. We expect a new record at -40 for April.” 

“Industrial production will probably show a huge decline. We project a sharp 6% m/m decline for April.”