Retailers enjoyed solid January indicating Consumers feel more confident, NAHB reported builder confidence is positive, CPI in January HOT!

February 15, 2017

Retailers enjoyed a solid January as consumers seemed more upbeat on the economy and as the labor market continues to move into greener pastures. Retailers across the board reported positive numbers with the exception of auto dealers. Retail Sales rose 0.4%, above the 0.2%, while the December reading was revised higher to 1% from 0.6%. From January 2016 to January 2017, Retail Sales were up 5.6%.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported on Wednesday that builder confidence in February, but still remains firmly in positive territory. The NAHB said that regulatory concerns are one of the main reasons for the slide in confidence. The NAHB Housing Market Index fell two points in February to 65, below the 68 expected. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. “While builders remain optimistic, we are seeing the numbers settling back into a normal range,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.

The January Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in hotter than expected at 0.6% versus 0.3%. Core CPI, which strips out food and energy, came in at 0.3% versus 0.2%. In addition, year-over-year CPI rose to 2.5%, up from 2.1% in December, Core 2.3% from 2.2%. The headline CPI was the biggest increase since February 2013, which was fueled by a sharp rise in the gasoline index and advances in the indexes for shelter, apparel, and new vehicles also were major contributors, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics.