The world’s largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, today reported sales of $22.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, a 9% increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Online sales are also up by more than 20%. Net earnings reached $1.8 billion — a 14% increase from the same time last year.
The CEO attributes some of the success to the slow new-home purchase market. “Housing data indicates continued tailwinds for our business,” said Home Depot CEO Craig Menear, speaking to investors on the earning call earlier this morning. This comes on the heels of a weak building permits and housing starts report from the department of commerce. A closer look at those numbers, and Home Depot’s, reveal a potential, bold strategy for the renovation retailer. Building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,116,000. This may 3.6% above the revised March rate of 1,077,000, but is 5.3% below the April 2015 number.