MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Builder sentiment rises 4 points to 80 in October
Builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes moved four points higher to 80 in October, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The index gauging current sales conditions rose five points to 87, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months posted a three-point gain to 84 and the gauge charting traffic of prospective buyers moved four points higher to 65.
Industrial production fell 1.3 percent in September, but still up 4.3 percent for 3Q2021
Industrial production fell 1.3 percent in September after moving down 0.1 percent in August. The production of motor vehicles and parts fell 7.2 percent, as shortages of semiconductors continued to hobble operations, while factory output elsewhere declined 0.3 percent. Despite the decrease in September, total industrial production rose 4.3 percent at an annual rate for the third quarter as a whole, its fifth consecutive quarter with a gain of at least 4 percent. At 100.0 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in September was 4.6 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 1.0 percentage point in September to 75.2 percent, a rate that is 4.4 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
Retail sales rise 0.7 percent in September and 13.9 percent year-on-year
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2021 were $625.4 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent from the previous month, and 13.9 percent above September 2020. Total sales for the July 2021 through September 2021 period were up 14.9 percent from the same period a year ago.