MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Retail sales up 0.5 percent in March and 6.9 percent year-on-year
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2022 were $665.7 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent from the previous month, and 6.9 percent above March 2021. Total sales for the January 2022 through March 2022 period were up 12.9 percent from the same period a year ago. The sales figures are not adjusted for higher prices.
Consumer Sentiment Index jumped 10.6 percent in early April, but still down 25.6 percent year-on-year
Consumer Sentiment jumped by a surprising 10.6% in early April, although it remained below January’s reading, down 25.6% year-on-year, and lower than in any prior month in the past decade. Nearly the entire gain was in the Expectations Index, which posted a monthly gain of 18.0%, including a leap of 29.4% in the year-ahead outlook for the economy and a 17.2% jump in personal financial expectations.
Prices of goods used for residential construction rose 1.4 percent in March and 20.4 percent year-on-year
The prices of goods used in residential construction ex-energy climbed 1.4% in March, following an upwardly revised increase of 2.2% in February and 4.1% in January. This adds up to an 8% jump in building materials prices since the start of 2022. Year-over-year, building materials prices increased 20.4% and have risen 33% since the start of the pandemic.