U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales eased 0.2% in April but were up 3.1% from a year ago.  Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — were unchanged. Census Bureau Report

Business inventories remained essentially unchanged from February to March but were up 5.0% from last year.  Manufacturers’ sales rose 0.7% and were up 1.7% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production fell 0.5% in April (up 0.9% Y/Y) after increasing 0.2% (revised) in March.  Capacity utilization declined 0.6 point to 77.9 in April. Fed Report

The May Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity increased significantly as the headline index rose 8.0 points to 17.8, its highest level since November 2018 The new orders index rose 2.0 points to 9.7, the shipments index rose 8.0 points to 16.3, and the index for number of employees fell to 4.7; meanwhile, hours worked held steady after rising last month. NY Fed Report

The NAHB Housing Market Index rose 3.0 points to 66.0 in May. All major components of the index posted gains this month, driven upward by low borrowing costs, continued job growth, and rising wages. NAHB Report