Weekly economic review & outlook
Some data softening for April
You Need to Know
Week in review
Retail sales surprise on the downside
Retail spending slumped by 0.2 percent for April, counter to positive labor market trends that suggest improved activity.
Home construction trending higher
Housing starts were up for April and have improved relative to the second half of 2018, while survey data showed more optimism from home builders.
Housing sector responds to low rates
Lower mortgage rates are set to help lift home sales activity for April.
Durable goods orders likely on pause
Weak data from aircraft manufacturers point to a temporary interruption in growth for durable goods orders.
Retail sales surprisingly dropped by 0.2 percent for April, well below consensus expectations. The weakness was widespread across categories as core retail sales (excluding autos, building supplies, and gasoline) were down marginally as well. Still, overall retail sales and core sales are up by 3.2 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, over the past year — each a solid pace that is faster than inflation