5/21: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Consumer sentiment soars to highest level in 15 years

The Index of Consumer Sentiment surged in early May to its highest level in fifteen years. All of the May gain was in the Expectations Index, which also rose to its highest level since 2004, while the Current Conditions Index was virtually unchanged and well below the cyclical peak set in March 2018. Nonetheless, the data indicate the corrosive impact of an escalating trade war.



April Leading Economic Index rose again for third straight month

The US LEI rose in April, the third consecutive increase to 112.1, with a majority of the leading indicators making positive contributions. Stock prices, financial conditions, and consumers’ outlook on the economy buoyed the US LEI, although the manufacturing sector showed continuing weakness. The current expansion will enter its 11th year in July, becoming the longest expansion in US history.



1Q 2019 e-commerce retail sales rose 4.6 times faster than overall sales year-on-year

E-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2019 were up 3.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018 and 12.4 percent year-on-year.   By comparison, total retail sales for the first quarter of 2019 were virtually unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2018, and up 2.7 percent year-on-year.   E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2019 accounted for 10.2 percent of total sales, up from 9.4 percent year-on-year.