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Monitoring the Market: Quarter 1

Use the following industry metrics to anticipate emerging trends and opportunities in the channel. Data is not seasonally adjusted, meaning these graphs represent real-time shifts in the market.

  • Understand consumers’ desire to save or spend by gauging overall consumer confidence levels.
  • Analyze total retail sales for building material and garden equipment centers to track your business’s performance against national averages.
  • Serve customers renovating or upgrading homes more effectively by observing housing starts and existing home sales.

Existing Home Sales and Housing Starts as of March 2020:

Existing Home Sales and Housing Starts as of March 2020:

 Sources: The Conference Board; U.S. Department of Commerce, NAICS 444; National Association of Realtors; U.S. Census Bureau 

Consumer Confidence and Monthly Retail Sales as of March 2020:

Consumer Confidence and Monthly Retail Sales as of March 2020:

“Consumer confidence declined marginally in December, following a slight improvement in November,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “While consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, their expectations declined, driven primarily by a softening in their short-term outlook regarding jobs and financial prospects. While the economy hasn’t shown signs of further weakening, there is little to suggest that growth, and in particular consumer spending, will gain momentum in early 2020.”

Click here to download full-page PDFs for previous months in 2020.

About Todd Taber

Todd Taber
Todd is trends editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017.

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