Answer: Not necessarily, but it might complicate the politics around the standoff over the stalled Phase 4 relief package. Corporate America and small business owners are warning that continuing restrictions on commerce run the risk of mass layoffs sooner rather than later. The Fed warned earlier this month that economic expansion appeared to have stalled. Even Hollywood has been pressing for some relief aimed at movie theaters to maintain their major distribution chain through the crisis.
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $549.3 billion, an increase of 1.9 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 5.4 percent (± 0.7 percent) above September 2019. Total sales for the July 2020 through September 2020 period were up 3.6 percent (± 0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The July 2020 to August 2020 percent change was unrevised at up 0.6 percent (± 0.2 percent).
Retail trade sales were up 1.9 percent (± 0.5 percent) from August 2020, and 8.2 percent (± 0.7 percent) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 23.8 percent (± 1.6 percent) from September 2019, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were up 19.1 percent (± 2.1 percent) from last year.