The shift from physical to e-commerce is accelerating

Chart of the week

May’s retail sales figures have jumped sharply. Total sales shot up 17.7% in May, bringing volumes to 7.8%  of February’s level, before the crisis.

The rebound confirms the rise in online sales, which grew by 32.2% over two months. E-commerce now  accounts for 24% of retail sales, excluding cars and petrol.

Our analysis

An increasing share of retail sales is being carried out online. Prior to the last two months, e-commerce  accounted for 15% of retail sales, so lockdown appears to have accelerated the shift towards online shopping.  The question is whether the current level will become a new normal or whether there will be a return to the  previous long-term trend.

From a macroeconomic perspective, whether a purchase is made online or in-store matters little. However, if  the shift triggers retailer bankruptcies, the result will likely be a secondary economic impact.


See also :

Eurozone: PMI indices rebound in may


The opinion expressed above is dated 17 June 2020 and is liable to change.


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