Hardware Retailing

JUL 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | July 2017 16 Economic Metrics Definition Percentage Change Housing Starts (in thousands) 1 The per-month average number of new residential single-family and multifamily homes that have begun construction, using seasonally adjusted rates. Consumer Confidence 2 The level of optimism that consumers express about the state of the economy, shown through saving or spending money. Existing-Home Sales (in millions) 3 The number of completed sales involving single-family homes at an adjusted annual rate. Existing-Home Price (in thousands) 3 The average of the median prices for all existing housing types. Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) 4 The health of the manufacturing sector based on measuring new orders, inven- tory levels, production, supplier deliver- ies and the employment environment. Quarter 1 of 2017 Shows Economic Upswing All numbers are derived from January, February and March data. Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1 , The Conference Board 2 , National Association of Realtors 3 , Institute for Supply Management 4 The first quarter of 2017 continued 2016's upward swing, key U.S. economic indicators show. The largest spike was in consumer confidence. The March 2017 score was 125.6, the highest level since December 2000, The Conference Board reports. That growth helped deliver a year-over-year increase of 22.4 percent for the quarter. "Consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, says in a statement. The housing sector showed gains as well, with existing-home sales rising 5.7 percent and the median price for a home rising nearly 7 percent. Existing-Home Sales (in millions) Existing-Home Sales At a seasonally adjusted rate Q1 2016 Q1 2017 7.7% 22.4% 6.9% 14.5% 5.7% Manufacturing and Consumer Confidence Show Growth Months 5.6 5.3 1,242 1,153 117.5 96 $216 $231 57 49.8 2016 M J J A S O N D J F M A 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 Trends 2017

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