The Independent Market Observer

Economic Release Snapshot: Retail Sales Rebound in April

Posted by Sam Millette

This entry was posted on May 22, 2023 8:44:03 AM

and tagged In the News

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Monday UpdateEach week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

Reports for the Week of May 15

Retail sales, April (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior month retail sales monthly change: +0.8%/–0.7%
  • Actual retail sales monthly change: +0.4%
  • Expected/prior month core retail sales monthly change: +0.2%/–0.5%
  • Actual core retail sales monthly change: +0.6%

Retail sales rebounded in April following two consecutive months of declines. Core retail sales growth, which strips out the impact of volatile gas and auto purchases, came in above expectations during the month.

Industrial production, April (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior month production change: +0%/+0%
  • Actual production change: +0.5%

Industrial production increased more than expected in April; this was due, in part, to a rise in capacity utilization. Manufacturing production also increased more than expected in April.

National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, May (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior month sentiment: 45/45
  • Actual sentiment: 50

Home builder sentiment increased more than expected in May, bringing the index to its highest level since July 2022. Home builder confidence has improved every month this year after souring throughout 2022.

Housing starts and building permits, April (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior month housing starts monthly change: –1.4%/–4.5%
  • Actual housing starts monthly change: +2.2%
  • Expected/prior month building permits monthly change: 0%/–3.0%
  • Actual building permits monthly change: –1.5%

Housing starts and building permits came in mixed in April, with starts up and permits down modestly. Overall, the pace of new home construction remains well below the peak we saw in 2021.

Existing home sales, April (Thursday)

  • Expected/prior month existing home sales monthly change: –3.2%/–2.6%
  • Actual existing home sales monthly change: –3.4%

The pace of existing home sales slowed more than expected in April, marking two consecutive months of slowing sales growth. The annualized sales rate ended the month at 4.28 million, which was well below pre-pandemic levels.

Upcoming Reports for the Week of May 22

FOMC meeting minutes, May (Wednesday)

The minutes from the Fed’s May meeting will be released on Wednesday. Economists and investors will closely examine the meeting minutes to see if the central bankers will discuss the path forward for interest rates, given the progress in lowering headline inflation so far this year.

Personal income and personal spending, April (Friday)

The April personal income and spending reports are both set to show growth after experiencing mixed results in March.

Durable goods orders, April, preliminary (Friday)

Both headline and core durable goods orders are set to fall in April, which would signal slowing business investment to start the second quarter.

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