Banks and the Economy

Builder Confidence Strengthens in May

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index grew to 70 in May, a two point increase from April’s reading of 68. “This report shows that builders’ optimism in the housing market is solidifying, even as they deal with higher building material costs and shortages of lots and labor,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and ...

Read More »

Retail Sales Grew 0.4% in April

There were $474.9 billion in retail and food service sales in April, up 0.4% from the previous month and up 4.5% from April 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. March’s estimate was revised from down 0.2% to up 0.1%. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts grew 0.3%. Year-over-year core sales increased 4.5%. Retail trade sales increased 0.4% ...

Read More »

Consumer Prices Increased 0.2% in April

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, rebounding from a 0.3% decline in March. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 2.2%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” increased 0.1% in April, up from March’s 0.1% decline. The index rose 1.9% for the 12 months ending in ...

Read More »

Producer Prices Increased 0.5% in April

Producer prices climbed 0.5% in April, seasonally adjusted, after falling 0.1% in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.5% for the twelve months ended April 2017, which is the largest increase since the twelve months ended February 2012. The index for final demand goods also increased 0.5% in April. The growth was led by ...

Read More »

Small Business Optimism Remains Strong in April

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.2 points in April to 104.5, maintaining the high level of post-election optimism. Five of the ten index components rose, while three declined. Reported job creation has improved, as 55% of businesses reported hiring or trying to hire. However, 48% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to ...

Read More »

Fed Survey: Banks Continue to Tighten on CRE Lending

Bankers continued tightening credit for commercial real estate and certain consumer loans in the first quarter of 2017, while easing slightly on commercial and industrial lending, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest senior loan officer survey released today.

Read More »