Hardware Retailing

APR 2018

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 90

HARDWARE RETAILING | April 2018 20 Trends 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. Fourth-Quarter 2017 Shows Economic Uptick All numbers are derived from October, November and December data. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau 1 , The Conference Board 2 , National Association of Realtors 3 , Institute for Supply Management 4 The year 2017 ended on a positive note for the U.S. economy, with fourth-quarter results showing growth in consumer confidence and in the housing and manufacturing sectors. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which is the only leading economic indicator included in this report, experienced double-digit growth above the fourth quarter in 2016. PMI shows the health of the manufacturing sector, and a reading above 50 means general growth. The quarter's average of 58.7 reflects robust production and high demand for products. Consumer confidence, which is measured by The Conference Board, was also strong for the quarter, exhibiting a 17.5 percent uptick above the same period in 2016. Average existing-home sales, new housing starts and home prices also went up year over year, but not as dramatically. Existing-Home Sales (in millions) Existing-Home Sales At a seasonally adjusted rate Q4 2016 Q4 2017 0.6% 17.5% 10.8% 10.1% 1.3% Manufacturing and Consumer Confidence Show Growth Months 5.61 5.54 1,256 1,249 126.0 107.2 $223 $247 58.7 53.3 J F M A M J J A S O N D 2017 Economic Metrics Definition Percentage Change 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5

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