April 9, 2012

The nation’s unemployment rate took a slight turn for the better, falling to 8.2%. Also on the “Consumer watch” section, gas prices rose a penny.

February 27, 2012

A new study of the impact of rising gasoline prices on consumer spending shows that gasoline prices of $4.25 per gallon could cut estimated 2012 retail sales growth from its current 5.7% pace to an anemic 2.3%. 

February 6, 2012

While stock prices climbed and unemployment declined, consumer confidence and gas prices turned in the wrong directions.

January 30, 2012

The Home Channel Stock Roundup shows 10 out of 10 companies ahead of last month. Also, gas prices slipped up to an average of $3.39 for a gallon of regular.

January 16, 2012

Unadjusted NAICS 44413 hardware store sales hit $1.74 billion in November, up from last year and last month. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, gas prices crept upward.

December 22, 2011

An index of consumer sentiment rose for the fourth month in a row, gaining 5.8 points and reaching its highest level since last June. The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index hit 69.9 points in December, and researchers pointed to falling gasoline prices, mildly better employment prospects, an uptick in the stock market and real income growth. 

December 19, 2011

The latest month of available data for hardware store sales show increases over the previous month and the same month last year. Also, gas prices are retreating.

December 12, 2011

The Consumer Watch section of the Dashboard shows gas prices holding steady at $3.29 per gallon of regular. On the Stock Roundup, Tractor Supply, Fastenal, Home Depot and Lowe's lead the field.

November 28, 2011

Gas prices retreat to a national average of $3.30 per gallon of regular. Elsewhere on the Dashboard, stocks are all over the grid of the Home Channel Stock Roundup.

November 7, 2011

Consumer Confidence has fallen to an index of 39.8, compared with 49.9 last year. At least gas prices are improving slightly.

September 7, 2011

The "Consumer watch" section of the Dashboard shows gas prices rose a nickel last week, the unemployment rate was unchanged, and consumer confidence is plummeting.

August 29, 2011

Stocks continued to show monthly declines, but not as much as last week. Gas prices, meanwhile, held steady at $3.59 per gallon of regular.


June 21, 2011

Existing-home sales fell 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in May, compared with a downwardly revised 5 million in April, according to statistics released today by the National Association of Realtors.

“Spiking gasoline prices along with widespread severe weather hurt house shopping in April, leading to soft figures for actual closings in May,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

June 20, 2011

Housing starts, with nowhere to go but up, showed month-to-month improvement in May. Gas prices have retreated about 25 cents per gallon compared with a month ago.

May 31, 2011

Gas prices retreat to $3.79 for a gallon of regular. Meanwhile, the Home Channel Stock Watch shows TSCO, SMG and SHW ahead of the pack.

May 23, 2011

While housing starts and existing-home sales showed disappointing declines, gas prices also retreated. 

May 16, 2011

Gas prices made a valiant stand against a  $4 national average, clocking in at $3.98 for the second week in a row. 

May 6, 2011

Several readers sounded off on the rising price of gas and its relation to business success.

Here's what we heard when we asked them to describe the impact of rising gas prices on business.

"Not too bad an impact yet, but this is our slow season anyway. I hate to think what will happen if it continues to rise all summer. [If so,] it would definitely have a major negative impact on our business in the fall." — Jack Bransfield

April 18, 2011

Retail sales picked up slightly in February for NAICS code 444, but the subset of NAICS code 44413 -- hardware stores -- slipped compared with last month and last year.

Gas prices, meanwhile, pushed higher, finishing last week at a national average of $3.82 per gallon of regular. 

April 11, 2011

The Home Channel Stock Roundup shows Tractor Supply Co. lighting up the grid -- up 15% from the month and 90% for the year.

Gas prices are high, too -- rising to $3.74 per gallon of regular, compared with $3.62 last week.

March 14, 2011

Gas prices rise again. As of March 11, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.54, according to AAA. 

March 7, 2011

The national unemployment rate unexpectedly slipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.9% in February.

But the big movement among consumer data was in gas prices, up 15 cents to a national average of $3.50 for regular gallon of gas. If gas prices continue to rise, expect consumer confidence to slip from its February reading of 70.4.

February 14, 2011

Retail sales and housing starts will be reported this week. Until then, look at the gains on the Home Channel Stock Roundup -- Tractor Supply, up 108% over last year; Weyerhaeuser, up 73% over last year; and Beacon Roofing, up 19% over last month.

Elsewhere on the Industry Dashboard, gas prices continue to creep up. As of Feb. 11, a regular gallon of gas sold at a national average of $3.13.

January 3, 2011

The Dashboard enters 2011 with a bullish Stock Roundup: For the third week in a row, all 10 companies tracked are up compared with last month and last year. Elsewhere on the board, gas prices clime to $3.07 per gallon of regular.