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US retail sales plummeted to a record 16% in April as a coronavirus struck



US retail sales plummeted to a record 16% in April as a coronavirus struck

US retail sales plummeted by a record 16.4% from March to April because business shutdowns caused by coronavirus drove buyers away, threatening the survival of stores across the country and further weighing on a sinking economy.

Friday’s Commerce Department report on retail purchases showed the sector had collapsed so quickly that sales over the past 12 months fell a crippling 21.6%. The severity of the decline is unmatched for retail figures that go back to 1992. The monthly decline in April nearly doubled the previous record decline of 8.3% – set just one month before.

“It’s like a storm coming and leveling the entire economy, and now we are trying to make it back up and running,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist for consultant Maria Fiorini Ramirez.

Shapiro suggested that retail sales should recover slightly when states and regions reopen their economies. But he said overall sales would remain depressed “because there will be a large number of lost jobs that don’t return.”

The sharpest decline from March to April occurred in clothing, electronics and furniture stores. The old migration of consumers to online purchases is accelerating, with the segment posting a 8.4% increase every month. Measured from year to year, online sales jumped 21.6%.

Apart from being online, no retail categories were avoided in April. Car dealers experienced a monthly decline of 13%. Furniture stores absorb 59% risk. Electronics and equipment stores dropped more than 60%. Retailers selling building materials posted a decline of around 3%. After panicking buying in March, wholesale sales fell 13%.

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Clothing store sales plummeted 79%, department stores 29%. Restaurants, some of which have begun to close permanently, have decreased by almost 30% despite an aggressive shift to food delivery and delivery orders.

For the staggered retail sector, free fall in spending again poses a big risk. Department stores such as Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy protection. Hotels, restaurants and car dealers are in danger. Nearly $ 1 of every $ 5 spent at retailers last month goes to non-store retailers.

Retailers are being threatened not only by the closure of businesses mandated by states and localities but also by the loss of a record 36 million jobs over the past two months. Unemployed usually pulls back sharply on retail purchases.

April analysis by a group of academic economists found that a one-month closing can remove 31% of non-wholesale retailers. Four-month closure can force 65% to close.

The fall in retail spending is the main reason why the US economy is contracting. Purchases at retailers are a major component of overall consumer spending, which triggers around 70% of economic activity.

With some Americans shopping, traveling, eating or shopping normally, economists project that gross domestic product – the widest measure of economic activity – shrank in the April-June quarter at an annual rate of around 40%. That would be the deepest quarterly decline on record.

Expenditures tracked by Opportunity Opportunities indicate that consumer spending may have reached its lowest point around mid-April before starting to rise slightly, at least in the general clothing and merchandise category. But spending on transportation, restaurants, hotels and arts and entertainment remains very depressed.

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Credit card purchases tracked by JPMorgan Chase found that expenses for necessities such as food, fuel, telephone services, and car repairs fell by 20% annually. Conversely, spending on “things that are not important,” such as eating out, plane tickets and personal services such as salons or yoga classes, dropped by 50% worse.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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