According to preliminary data from the US Census Bureau, overall retail sales during May were up 17.7 percent seasonally adjusted from April but down 6.1 percent year-over-year. US foodservice establishments registered sales over $38 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in May. While that was up nearly $9 billion from April, it remained nearly $27 billion down from the pre-coronavirus sales levels posted in January and February.

May tends to be good month for foodservice establishments. In recent years, it has typically been their top sales month based on the unadjusted data. On average during the last five years, May sales at these places were more than 5 percent higher than the average monthly sales volume for the entire year.

This year, May sales at foodservice establishments were more than 40 percent lower than what would have been expected in the absence of the pandemic. Between March and May, sales were down more than $94 billion from expected levels.