Hardware Retailing

OCT 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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Page 24 of 120

HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2017 20 Trends 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. Consumer Confidence, Home Prices Rise All numbers are derived from April, May and June data. Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1 , The Conference Board 2 , National Association of Realtors 3 , Institute for Supply Management 4 U.S. consumer confidence rose in the second quarter of 2017, showing a nearly 25 percent increase over year-to-year 2016 levels. Prices of existing home sales also continued to climb, buoyed by a June 2017 peak. The Consumer Confidence Index rose to 118.1 this quarter, indicating consumers are optimistic about the state of the economy as tracked by their spending habits. Home prices also rose this quarter. In June, they reached the 64th consecutive month of gains. However, this may make it difficult for many Americans to buy their first home. "Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers' dreams of owning a home this year," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. Existing-Home Sales (in millions) Existing-Home Sales At a seasonally adjusted rate Q2 2016 Q2 2017 0.8% 24.6% 5.8% 7.7% 1.8% Manufacturing and Consumer Confidence Show Growth Months 5.6 5.5 1,165 1,156 118.1 94.8 $240 $254 55.8 51.8 2016 J A S O N D J F M A M J 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 2017

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