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U.S. Retail Sales, Business Inventories Up but Home Builder Confidence Index Down

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail sales rose 0.9% in April from the previous month. The Commerce Department revised the March retail sales figure to an increase of 1.4% from a previously reported increase of 0.7%. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales rose 8.2% in April.

Retail sales (excluding motor vehicles, oil, building materials, and food) rose 1.0% in April after increasing 1.1% in March.

Business inventories rose 2.0% month-to-month in March, up from 1.8% in February and from a year earlier. Business inventories rose 14.7% in March.

Retail inventories rose by 2.3% in March, while wholesale inventories also increased by 2.3%.

Business sales rose 1.8% in March, following a 1.2% gain in February.

It also takes 1.27 months for a contractor to run out of supplies, unchanged from February.

The increase in business inventories is a sign of the sector’s confidence that sales will increase in the coming months. The reduction in inventories is an indicator of the business sector’s confidence that future sales will fall.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) of the United States announced that the Homebuilder Confidence Index fell 8 points in May to 69, the lowest level since June 2020, marking the 5th consecutive month of decline.

The decline in the confidence index was caused by an increase in mortgage rates and construction costs. As a result, the confidence index for sales in the next 6 months and the current sales confidence index have fallen.

However, the sentiment index remained above 50, indicating a positive general outlook.

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