MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Builder confidence slips for fourth straight month to 79
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes moved two points lower to 79 in March from a downwardly revised reading in February. This is the fourth straight month that builder sentiment has declined and the first time that the HMI has dipped below the 80-point mark since last September. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions fell three points to 86 and the gauge measuring sales expectations in the next six months dropped a whopping 10 points to 70. The component charting traffic of prospective buyers posted a two-point gain to 67.
Retail sales up 0.3 percent in February and 17.6 percent year-on-year
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February 2022 were $658.1 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent from the previous month, and 17.6 percent above February 2021. Total sales for the December 2021 through February 2022 period were up 16.0 percent from the same period a year ago.
Inflation tracker Producer Price Index up 0.8 percent in February and 10.0 percent year-on-year
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.8 percent in February, after rising 1.2 percent in January and 0.4 percent in December 2021. Final demand prices moved up 10.0 percent for the 12 months ended in February. Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services rose 0.2 percent in February following a 0.8-percent increase in January. For the 12 months ended in February, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services moved up 6.6 percent.