The current maximum benefit payment of $794 per month keeps recipients far below the federal poverty line of $12,880 per year and is in desperate need of an update.
Retail spending cratered a record 8.7% in March. The new record dwarfs the previous record of 3.9%.
The index fell 30% over 22 days, the shortest duration on record.
The index is at its lowest level since June 2009, during the Great Recession.