U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales rose 0.3% in January and were up 4.4% from a year ago. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services —  were unchanged. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production declined 0.3% in January (down 0.8% year-over-year) after falling 0.4% (revised) in December. Capacity utilization fell 0.3 point to 76.8. Fed Report

Business inventories edged up 0.1% in December and were up 2.1% from December 2018. Manufacturers’ sales rose 0.5% in December and were up 1.6% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 1.1 points to 100.9 in the preliminary February reading and is up 7.1 points from February of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose 2.1 points to 92.6, while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 0.6 point to 113.8. University of Michigan

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Europe’s trade surplus with the United States hit a record high in 2019, increasing the risk of tariff action from the U.S. should ongoing trade talks fail. German automobiles are among the goods most at risk from an increase in U.S. import duties – if a 25% tariff were imposed, production could fall up to 5%. WSJ