August 14, 2012

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales were up slightly in July, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, July monthly sales were $403.9 billion, up 0.8% from the previous month, and up 4.1% from July last year.

For building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS classification 444), July sales were $23.46 billion, up 1.0% from both June 2012 and July 2011.

April 11, 2012

The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book report, which covered the period February 18 - April 2, 2012, was not effusive in its assessment of economic activity, pegging expansion at a “modest to moderate pace.” But a closer look at the report, provided by IHS Global Insight, indicate an uptick in housing demand, residential construction activity, consumer spending, employment and lending. The only dark cloud on the horizon, according to the Federal Reserve’s economic analysis, is gas prices. 

February 21, 2012

Consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group shows some positive movement in consumer sentiment in January, but concerns linger.

The January figure for the NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator rose to 40.0 on a scale of 0 -- "very concerned" -- to 100 -- "very confident." The figure is an improvement upon 37.4 recorded in December, but it is below the year-ago figure of 41.4:

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 13, 2011

U.S. retail and food services improved slightly in November, but NAICS code 444 retailers took a step backward. 

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday morning that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $399.3 billion, an increase of 0.2% from the previous month and 6.7% above November 2010.

August 30, 2011

After an uptick in July, the Consumer Confidence Index issued by The Conference Board fell to 44.5, down from a downwardly revised 59.2 reading in July. 

The August figure is the lowest since April 2009 when the index was 40.8.

December 16, 2010

After a disturbingly disappointing residential construction tally for October, the Department of Commerce's housing start report for November saw an uptick in activity, but not nearly enough to celebrate.

October 18, 2010

The annual rate of housing starts in September was back over the 600,000-level and at...

February 13, 2008

When the market rebounds, NAHB expects condo starts to hover from 20 percent to 30...