1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Flat but Labor Market Dims

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 218,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended June 1, UNCHANGED from the previous week’s upwardly revised (from 215,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 2,500 to 215,000;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.142 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.144 percent the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,682,000 for the week ended May 25, UP 20,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,662,000; (from 1,657,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 1,000 to 1,672,750.

Trends:

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance have not declined for three straight weeks (unchanged for two of them);
  • Four-week moving average of 1st-time claims has fallen for three straight weeks;
  • Four-week moving average of continued claims fell for the second straight week and ninth of the last 11 weeks.

Data Source: Department of Labor

First-time claims for unemployment insurance appear to have stabilized after reaching some (relatively) lofty levels in the last two weeks of April, but only employment indicators have moved in the opposite direction.

On the eve of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Employment Situation report for May, data from payroll processor ADP and recruiting firm Challenger Grey and Christmas hint at some weakness in the otherwise strong labor picture.

ADP, which issues its own jobs forecast a few days before the BLS (but covering only private sector jobs) said the nation created 27,000 private sector jobs in May, the smallest gain since the beginning of the current expansion 10 years ago. Indeed, according to BLS data, the average monthly job gain since the Great Recession ended has been 170,000.

Challenger reported employers across the country announced plans in May to cut 56,600 jobs, up from 40,000 in April. A caveat: those figures represent announcements only of job cuts which may not occur if circumstances change. The figures include the elimination of already vacant positions.

Still the labor market snapshot is dimming with interpolation of claims data suggesting an increase in the 40-year low 3.6 percent unemployment rate and slower job growth in May.

You can hear Mark Lieberman tomorrow at 8:40 am (EDT) am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124 discussing the monthly Employment Situation release. You can also hear him on other Fridays at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S.

Pending Home Sales Index Drops in April

Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights:

  • National Association of Realtors’ April Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) FELL 1.5 percent from March to 104.3;
  • Year-year the index was DOWN 2.0 percent.

Trends:

  • The Index remained over 100 for the fourth time this year;
  • Index is down year-year for 16 straight months.

Data Source: National Association of Realtors (NAR)

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With concern about rising home prices despite falling interest rates, the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index fell in April, down from its highest level since last June.

Regionally, the index fell in three of the four census regions, improving only in the Midwest where it rose from 95.6 to 96.8. The steepest decline was in the South where the index fell from 127.2 to 124.0. Last week, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported the federal government report on new home sales, which is also based on contract signings, dropped 6.9 percent from March to April.

The NAR report suggests closings in June will decline and, given the sharp increase in pending home sales in March, the decline could be steep.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac reported the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped below 4.00 percent – to 3.99 percent – for the first time since last November. The drop, from 4.06 percent one week ago, would reduce the monthly payment (excluding taxes and insurance) for a 30-year fixed rate loan of $300,000 from $1,444.27 to $1,432.17 – a savings of $12.10.

The monthly drop in the PHSI was the 8th in the last 12 months underscoring ongoing difficulties in the housing market. New home sales have fallen in six of the last 12 months. Although new home sales represent only about 10 percent of all home sales, they have a greater impact on the overall economy, affecting construction employment as well as sales of appliances and furnishings. Both appliance and furniture store stores have seen a decline in sales mirroring housing’s struggles.

Earlier this week, Standard & Poor’s reported its Case-Shiller Core-Logic Home Price Index showed that while home prices rose slightly from February to March, the rate of change of the year-year price increase has been slowing for almost a year.

The weaker home sales market has broader implications. In addition to a slowdown at related retail stores, the sales slump could affect seniors who were counting on proceeds from the sale of their homes to fund retirement. The most recent government report on homeownership showed a drop in the homeownership rate for seniors – from 78.8 percent to 75.8 percent but no corresponding increase for younger families, those under 35. Most economists consider the 35-44 age cohort prime homebuyers.

The timing of the dip in the PHSI suggest a weak beginning for the traditional home-buying season. Families with children step up home purchases during the late Spring in an effort to be settled in before the new school year begins.

Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday at 6:20 am on POTUS Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Edge Up but Remain Low

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 215,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 25, UP 3,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 212,000 (from 211,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 3,750 to 216,750;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.143 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.146 percent the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,657,000 for the week ended May 18, DOWN 26,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,683,000; (from 1,676,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 3,500 to 1,672,500.

Trends:

  • The week-week increase in initial claims was the first in four weeks;

Data Source: Department of Labor

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The weekly report on unemployment insurance claims firmed up data for the reference week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for its monthly Employment Situation report, scheduled for June 7. The month-month changes in initial claims and the four-week moving average of claims suggest the 49-year low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent may be in jeopardy.

According to Labor Department data, both initial claims and the four-week moving average  of those claims increased from mid-April to mid-May (coincidentally by the same amount, 19,000). The increases mean unemployment grew from mid-April to mid-May which would lead to a higher unemployment rate, absent significant hiring. Some major firms announcement large-scale layoff plans during the period, also suggesting the unemployment rate rose.

On the hiring side, the reference week comparisons for weekly and four-week moving average data provide mixed signals. The weekly continued claims report rose 3,000 in the month but the four-week moving average dropped 15,000.

The primary exit from continued receipt of unemployment insurance is getting a job so the drop in the moving average hints at an increase in hiring. The jobs data come from the “Current Employment Statistics” (CES) survey which surveys employers while the employment/unemployment data is from the “Current Population Survey” (CPS) of households, relying on self-description of whether an individual is employed. An individual with two jobs is counted twice in the CES but only once in the CPS.

You can hear Mark Lieberman tomorrow and every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124.

Case Shiller Home Prices Index Continues Slower Year-Year Gains

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights:

  • Case Shiller CoreLogic indices ROSE in March for the second straight month;
  • The indices also ROSE year-year but at more slowly than in February;
  • The price index rose in 19 of the 20 cities surveyed in March compared with February when 15 cities showed month-month increases;
  • The March increases were slower than February in four cities;
  • Year-year the price index rose in 15 of the 20 cities surveyed but the year-year increase was slower in 16 of the 20 cities

Trends:

  • The price index rose in all four census regions led by 0.7 percent increases in the Northeast and Midwest;
  • The price index rose for the 15th straight month in Miami;
  • The price index rose in Minneapolis after dropping for six consecutive months.

Data Source: S&P Case Shiller/Core Logic

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Home values rose for the second straight month in March, according to the Case Shiller Core-Logic Home Price Index but the year-year growth in values continued to slow.

As with most reports on home prices, there are immediate winners and losers.

In this case, the Case Shiller report worked to the benefit of potential buyers but as prices climb more slowly, sellers and potential sellers had new incentive to take homes off the market reducing choice for buyers.

There’s a lot of psychology – and game theory – in the home sales market: as prices rise empty-nesters and other potential sellers reconsider decisions to keep homes off the market as buyers act with greater resolve fearing that prices might rise faster as they dither. On the flip side, when prices fall, buyers become more aggressive and sellers might settle for lower prices fearing further price drops or pull their homes off the market entirely.

The implications of decisions on both sides of the transaction are long term.

Empty-nesters sand retirees who had been counting on the appreciation of their homes to fund a more comfortable retirement may reconsider retirement decisions clogging the workforce and making it more difficult for newly minted college grads and other entrants to the workforce to find jobs with a ripple effect on retail activity.

While economists watch the month-month gyrations in housing prices. They generally concentrate more on year-year changes since monthly data can be influenced by the choice of homes bought and sold. A five-bedroom home will carry a higher price tag than a three-bedroom home. Those differences are usually smoother over time which leads to a year-year price comparison.

While prices continue to rise year-year, according to Case Shiller data, the rate of change (ah calculus) is slowing and has been for almost a year.

Last year, for example, the Case Shiller national home price index showed prices were up 6.5 percent from the previous year; in March, the year-year price increase was 3.7 percent.  The pattern Is similar in the 10-city and 20-city home price indices. In March 2018, the 10-city index was up 6.4 percent from March 2017 and the 20-city index was up 6.7 percent. This month’s report showed the 10-city index up 2.3 percent and the 20-city index rose 2.7 percent in the last year.

Overall snapped out of their doldrums in February, improving for the first time since late last year, but the positive movement doesn’t mean housing woes are gone.

Indeed, housing has been feeling the pinch since President Trump signed his tax changes in December 2017, reducing the tax advantages of home ownership by capping the amount of mortgage interest and local real estate taxes which can be deducted from taxable income.

Since the law took effect, home prices, according to the Case-Shiller Corel Logic home price index, have risen 5.2 percent; in the previous 16 months, prices rose 6.5 percent.

The National Association of Realtors reported the median price of an existing single-family home rose 3.8 percent in March or $9,600; year-year the median price grew 4.0 percent. According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median price of a new home fell 3.3 percent or $10.300 to $305,800 in March. The median price though was down $29,600 or 8.8 percent from March 2018 a sharper drop than the 3.4 percent decline from February 2018 to February 2019.

In the latest Case Shiller report, month-month prices increases were led by San Francisco, up 2.1 percent, followed by Boston and Seattle, up 1.6 percent each. The only city to show a drop in prices was New York where prices fell 0.1 percent. Year-year price increases were led by Las Vegas where prices rose 8.2 percent in March 2019 over March 2019; The year-year price increase in Las Vegas was 9.7 percent from February 2018 to February 2019.

Hear Mark Lieberman this Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio’s Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Remain Low

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 211,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 18, DOWN 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised 212,000
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 4,750 to 220,250;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.146 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.149 percent the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,676,000 for the week ended May 11, UP 12,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,664,000; (from 1,660,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims ROSE 5,500 to 1,674,250.

Trends:

  • The week-week decline in the four-week moving average of 1st time claims for unemployment insurance was the first in five weeks

 Data Source: Department of Labor

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While first-time claims for unemployment insurance remained at low levels for the week ended May 18, trend data in the report suggest the possibility of a negative surprise when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on the Employment Situation for May on June 7.

Comparing mid-April and mid-May data, first-time claims for unemployment rose 18,000 and the four-week moving average of first-time claims grew 18,750. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses employment data collected in the mid-month “reference week” (the week including the 12th calendar day of the month) in computing the monthly unemployment rate. An increase in unemployment claims could mean an increase in the five-decade low 3.6 percent unemployment rate.

Data on continued claims for unemployment roughly translates into hiring, which is the way most people leave the unemployment rolls, is reported on a one-week lag and will be released next week serving as an indicator the jobs count for May.

You can hear Mark Lieberman tomorrow and every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124.

New Home Sales Stumble Badly in April

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights:

  • Pace of contracts for new home sales FELL 6.9 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 673,000;
  • The March sales pace originally reported as 692,000 was revised up to 723,000
  • The unsold inventory of new homes SLIPPED 3,000 or 0.9 percent in April to 332,000;
  • With the slower sales rate, the months’ supply of new homes for sale ROSE to 5.9 in April from 5.6 in March;
  • Median price of a new home JUMPED $27,800, or 11.9 percent, from March to $342,200, the highest since December 2017 ($343,300); Year-year the median price was up 8.8 percent, $27,800.

Trends:

  • The number of contracts for the sale of new homes fell month-month for the first time this year;
  • The year-year increase in the median price of a new home was first since last October;
  • The Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, in a separate report last week, reported completions of single-family homes at a915,000 SAAR – 245,000 more than sales.

Data Source: Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Even as home builder confidence remains at lofty levels, new home sales fell sharply in April, the traditional start of the home-buying season.

The National Association of Home Builders last week reported its Housing Market Index rose three points to 66 (out of 100) in May with “buyer traffic,” one of three components of the index, improving two points to 49.  The NAHB noted despite the sharp April decline, the April sales pace was the third highest monthly rate since the end of the Great Recession.

But the weaker sales rate came in the same months the National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes fell, albeit by 0.4 percent, in April, the third time in the last four months and 11th time in the last 13 months sales have declined.

While reported new home sales (contracts for sale, not closings) declined, the median price of a new home rose at the fastest rate since February 2018. Sales typically fall when the median price increases. The cost of a new home is likely to continue to rise as higher tariffs affect the price of raw materials used in home building.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac reported its weekly survey of mortgage interest rates showed another rate drop, the fourth in as many weeks, with the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan edging down to 4.06 percent from 4.07 percent one week earlier, the change saving $1.74 per month on a $300,000 mortgage or $626.40 over the life of the loan, probably not enough to boost home sales.

Indeed, the basic challenges to home ownership remain: still weak earnings growth, heavy student debt burdens affecting younger potential borrowers and recollections of observing the mortgage meltdown 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, the number of residential construction jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was rose about 600 from March to April to 2,899,200.

Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. (Sirius-XM 124) Friday at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

Home Sales Tick Down in April

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • The pace of existing home sales – closed sales – SLIPPED 0.4 percent, 20,000, in April to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.19 million;
  • Median price of an existing single-family home ROSE 2.9 percent, $9,400, to $267,300;
  • Year-year the median price is up 3.6 percent or $9,400;
  • Number of homes available for sale ROSE 160,000 or 9.6 percent to 1.83 million;
  • The months’ supply of homes for sale in January JUMPED 0.4 months to 4.2 months.

Trends:

  • The pace pf existing home sales has FALLEN in three of the four reporting months this year and 11 of the last 13 month;
  • Year-year sales were DOWN 4.8 percent, the 14th consecutive month year-year sales have dropped;
  • The median price of an existing single-family home ROSE for the third straight month;
  • The month-month increase in holes for sale – 160,000 – was the largest since April 2018 when inventory also rose 160,000.

Data Source: National Association of Realtors: (NAR)

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The beleaguered home sales market took another hit in April, though a modest one, perhaps more of a glancing blow.

Nonetheless, the slight dip in sales in April marked the continuation of a trend which began a year ago.

The sales slump, despite a drop in mortgage rates, is affecting more than just realtors and mortgage lenders as sales at real estate related retailers are also feeling the slowdown. Sales at furniture and appliance stores, according to the Census Bureau, have fallen 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent respectively in the last year.

The average rate of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down from 4.47 percent in April 2018 to 4.14 percent in April 2019.

The roots of the depressed sales are both financial and environmental. Younger potential buyers remain saddled by student loan debt hampering their ability to qualify for a mortgage and have only recently seen a breakthrough from stagnant earnings growth. But as recent residential construction data suggest, there appears to be a shift away from single-family homes in favor of multi-family construction bringing people closer to jobsites to reduce commuting time and the other environmental affects of lengthy travel to work.

At the same time, the memories of the mortgage meltdown a decade ago remain fresh in the minds of potential buyers who may have experienced the impact in their own families or those of friends making them a bit gun-shy of mortgage financing.

The inventory build-up affects the other end of the age spectrum – senior who anticipated using the equity built up in their homes as a retirement nest egg. The median price of an existing single-family home rose 2.9 percent in April, $7,600, to $267,300 — the highest since last August. In the last year, the median price has risen 3.6 percent or $9,400.

One spot of good news in the NAR report was distressed sales – sales of foreclosures – represented three percent of sales as they had a month ago, down from four percent in April 2018.

Sales to first-time homebuyers, the NAR said, represented 32 percent of all transactions in April, down from 33 percent in March and a year ago. In 2010, first-time buyers accounted for 40 percent of existing home sales.

Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday, on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Return to “Normal”

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 212,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 11, DOWN 16,000 from the previous week’s unrevised 228,000
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims ROSE 4,750 to 225,000;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.149 percent of employment, UP from 0.146 percent the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,660,000 for the week ended May 4, DOWN 28,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,688,000; (from 1,684,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims ROSE 1,200 to 1,668,250.

Trends:

  • The week-week decline in 1st time claims for unemployment insurance was the largest in 11 weeks. The number of initial claims fell 18,000 in the week ended February 16
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims rose for the fourth week in a row for the first time since January;
  • The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose for the first time in eight weeks.

 Data Source: Department of Labor

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Whew.

After a couple of weeks of relatively high initial unemployment insurance claims, first-time claims fell back to their new normal for the week ended May 11. The “culprit” appears to have been in New York State which showed sharp increases in claims during the two weeks ended May 4 and then an equally sharp decline one week later. The uptick was due to one-time layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, education service, and public administration industries, according to the (federal) Labor Department.

The claims increase in New York accounted for more than 4 percent of the increase in claims nationwide, a function not of any specific issues in the Empire State but of arithmetic as the low level of claims overall magnifies movement in any one industry or state.

You can hear Mark Lieberman tomorrow and every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124.

Construction Activity Improves in April on Multi-Family Gains

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • Home building activity, measured by housing permits and starts IMPROVED in April, as both starts and permits ROSE;
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate of permits EDGED UP 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1.296 million; all the increase came in multi-family (almost 40 percent of the total) which ROSE 8.9 percent while the annualized pace of permits for single-family homes FELL 4.2 percent from March;
  • The SAAR of starts ROSE 5.7 percent or 67,000 to 1.235 million. Single-family starts IMPROVED 6.2 percent or 50,000 while the rate of multi-family starts INCREASED 17,000 or 4.7 percent;
  • The rate of total housing completions FELL 19,000 or 1.4 percent. The SAAR of single-family completions DROPPED 39,000 or 4.1 percent, while the pace of multi-family completions ROSE 20,000 or 5.3 percent.

Trends:

  • Total permit activity rose for the first time this year. The SAAR of permits for single-family homes fell for the fifth straight month, the longest streak of declines since April-September 2010;
  • Single-family permits represented 60.3 percent of all permit filings, the lowest share since November 201 (58.1 percent)5;
  • Year-year, the rate of total permits is down for four straight months and the rate of permits for single-family construction is down for five straight months;
  • The rate of new starts has fallen year-year for six straight months for the first time since the Great Recession when it fell year-year for 44 straight months;
  • Single-family starts were 69.1 percent of the total, below the 71.2 percent historic average for the third straight month;

Data Source: Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development

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The increase in builder confidence reported Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) became even more mysterious with the Census Bureau’s report Thursday of a decline in both permits and starts for single-family homes.

Perhaps the only bright spot in the report was that the slowdown in building activity will give inventories of unsold homes a chance to correct and reverse the price decline for new homes.

But otherwise the data suggest potential cutbacks in construction sector employment. The number of residential construction jobs barely increased (up less than 1,000) in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics after increasing 11,000 in April.

The confidence report Wednesday showed an uptick in buyer traffic according to builders surveyed but the buyer traffic measure remained the ionly one of three index components to score under 50, the dividing line between positive (over 50) and negative survey readings. The overall index has been in optimistic territory for 63 straight months, just over five years.

Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday at 6:20 am on POTUS Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

Retail Sales Fall in April After March Surge

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights:

  • March retail sales FELL 0.2 percent or $873 million in April after surging an upwardly revised 1.7 percent or $8.5 billion in March
  • Excluding auto sales, which FELL almost $1.2 billion, retail activity was up 0.1 percent in April, well below March’s 1.3 percent increase;
  • Sales at gasoline station ROSE 1.8 percent — $773 million — as the price of a gallon of gasoline increased 11.2 percent in April;
  • Other than gasoline stations, the only store categories to show an increase in sales were sporting goods and restaurants; sales rose 0.2 percent in each of those categories;
  • The only store category to show a decline was sporting goods and hobby stores where sales fell 0.3 percent from February to March.
  • All retail activity was up 3.1 percent year-year while the Consumer Price Index rose 2.0 percent in the same period.

Trends:

  • After increasing for six straight months from February through July last year, total retail sales have improved in only three of the last nine months;
  • BLS reported the number of retail jobs FELL an average of 13,800 in the last three months to the lowest level since February 2016;
  • Sales at non-store retailers – online sales – remained at 11.8 percent of all retail activity in April

Data source: Census Bureau

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Despite climbing gasoline prices which increased sales at gasoline stations, retails sales stumbled in April after a sharp increase in March. The fall in sales coincided with a slight uptick in Consumer Price Index inflation which suggests higher price drove consumers to watch their wallets more closely.

The retail sales report, produced by the Census Bureau, is not adjusted for price changes which means and increase in prices – even if the quantity of goods sold is unchanged – is viewed as an increase in sales.

That retail jobs have been declining appeared to reinforce a sales trend which has seen traditional brick and mortar stores yielding to online retailers.

The April report also reflected the slowdown in home sales – both new and existing – with sale declines at building material, appliance, and furniture stores. Sales at appliance stores have fallen month-month in six of the last eight months and in April were at their lowest level in three years.

We can likely expect a sales increase in May not because consumers re-energize but because newly hiked tariffs will raise prices.

Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 am Eastern Time. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.