8/16: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Builder confidence rises one point in August to 66

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August. Sentiment levels have held at a solid 64-to-66 level for the past four months.  The HMI index gauging current sales conditions increased two points to 73, the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers rose two points to 50, and the measure charting sales expectations in the next six months fell one point to 70.



July retail sales rose 0.7 percent from June and 3.4 percent year-on-year

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July 2019 rose 0.7 percent from June and 3.4 percent year-on-year.  Total sales for the May 2019 through July 2019 period were up 3.3 percent from the same period a year ago.



July industrial production slipped 0.2 percent from June but still up 0.5 percent year-on-year

Industrial production declined 0.2 percent in July, but was 0.5 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.3 percentage point in July to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.