Reclaiming Common Sense

Forecasts for Retail Sales and New Construction

Strong Reports on Retail, Inflation, Unemployment, New Construction and Retail

The week this column started with forecasts for the July Retail Report and the July New Home Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales data. We received information regarding inflation, retail sales, new home construction, and the weekly unemployment claims data. All the data points to an expanding economy.

(Aug. 12) The week started with a forecast for the July MARTS retail sales report. "July Retail Should Exceed $500 billion" examined the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and the Seasonally Adjusted (SA) Marts data. The expectations were for retail sales to rebound with same month growth surging in Non-store retail,  taking some sales from tradition stores.

(Aug 13.) There has been a considerable amount of babble as to whether or not we have been entering a deflationary period. We have only had two periods of deflation since 1981. The first deflationary period was nine months during 2009. The second period was ten months during 2015. We have seen commodity deflation, service inflation, shelter inflation, and health insurance inflation. "July Inflation Report: Watching Commodities" details that this that these trends are continuing and that Health Insurance Inflation has hit 15.9%. Yes. Fifteen point nine per cent.

(Aug. 14) The July real estate forecast was three forecasts in one: The New Home Construction report, the New home Sales Report, and the Existing Home Sales report. "July Real Estate Forecast: Looking Up" compared the data for new home starts, units under construction, completions, new home inventory, new home sales, existing home inventory, and existing home sales. It detailed how starts could drop from month to month and rise from July to July.

(Aug. 14) Two months ago some of the talking heads on television were lamenting the lack of revenue from corporations and how the lack of revenue was boosting the deficit. Last month the year to date corporate revenue and individual revenue were almost identical to last year, even after the tax rate cuts. "Record July Tax Revenue, Near Record Spending" details how on-budget revenue is up, off-budget revenue is up, and how both corporate revenue and individual revenue are up this year, year to data, compared to last year.

(Aug. 15) We record our thirteenth week of fewer than 200,000 non-seasonally adjusted first-time claims. This places us ahead of last year's record pace toward 21 weeks. This is covered in the article  "First-time and Continuing Claims Up?" We are still at or near historic lows for the current week of the year.

(Aug. 16) We had a record July Retail sales month with $532 billion in total retail sales. "Jumping July MARTS Retail Report" explains how we grew at a current year rate of

2.97%, a rolling year rate of 3.45% and a current month rate of 4.79%. It also explains how some sectors dropped July to July as non-store retail sales spiked 9.79% month to month, 19.27% July to July, and 13.76% year to date.

(Aug. 16) There were some commentators who were lamenting the slowing seasonally adjusted new construction starts that were reported on Friday for the month of July. The thing is that July  Starts were at their highest level since July 2007. The same is true for July units under construction and July Completions. This data is the non-seasonally adjusted, non-annualized data, also known as reality. "July Starts, Under Construction, and Completions up from July 2018 level" also explains the seasonality of starts versus completions.


The news this week was remarkable. We aren't in a deflationary period of  time. We are seeing modest inflation. Doomsayers were saying that the trade battle with China would boost inflation. Retail sales spiked this year. The "experts" were expecting weak data. This was the best July ever. Anti-trump forces are hoping for unemployment to spike. First-time claims were under 200,000 claims, NSA, for the thirteenth time this year while having a record level of covered insured.  New home starts, units under construction, and completions were all at July highs as compared with July 2008 through July 2018. Tax revenues are up even with lower tax rates. People are earning more money and keeping more money.

It's the Economy.