7/16: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

July builder confidence slips one point to 80 as supply-side challenges remain

What does this mean?  While demand remains strong, the supply timeline is under pressure from shortages in supplies and labor.

Strong buyer demand helped to offset supply-side challenges relating to building materials, regulation and labor as builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes on NAHB’s Housing Market Index inched down one point to 80 in July.  The HMI index gauging current sales conditions fell one point to 86, the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers dropped six points to 65 and the gauge charting sales expectations in the next six months posted a two-point gain to 81.


Retail sales up 0.6 percent in June and 18.0 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  Following a sharp drop in May, retail sales rebounded in June as more restrictions were lifted and the economy continued to reopen.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2021 were $621.3 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent from the previous month, and 18.0 percent above June 2020. Total sales for the April 2021 through June 2021 period were up 31.5 percent from the same period a year ago.


Consumer sentiment falls 5.5 percent but still up 11.4 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  Mounting concerns about rising inflation are increasingly weighing on consumer finances.

Consumer sentiment posted a monthly decline of 5.5% in early July, largely due to less favorable prospects for the national economy, but was still up 11.4% year-on-year.  This monthly decline was caused by a misjudgement by consumers in the pace that the economy would recover as the pandemic eased. Rather than job creation, halting and reversing an accelerating inflation rate has now become a top concern.