Warning Flags for Home Construction

– May 18, 2022

“Single-family starts and permits fell in April. Surging mortgage rates and record home prices are major headwinds for demand, and when combined with elevated commodity costs, are pummeling homebuilder sentiment.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Industrial Output Posts Fourth Consecutive Strong Gain

– May 17, 2022

“Industrial output rose again in April, the fourth solid gain in a row. However, shortages continue, sustaining upward pressure on prices. Combined with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, renewed lockdowns in China, and a new Fed tightening cycle, the risks to the economy remain significant.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Retail Sales Post Strong Gains in April

– May 17, 2022

“Retail sales rose in April and revised data suggest a stronger trend recently. However, significant threats to the economy remain. Caution is warranted.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Inflation Fears Send Consumer Sentiment Sharply Lower in Early May

– May 13, 2022

“Consumer sentiment sank in early May and is consistent with prior recessions. Inflation is a driver of weakening consumer attitudes and contributing to elevated risks. The outlook is highly uncertain.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Weekly Initial Claims Have Started to Trend Higher but Remain Below the Pre-Pandemic Level

– May 12, 2022

“Weekly initial claims have trended slightly higher recently but continue to suggest a very tight labor market. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, renewed lockdowns in China, sustained elevated price increases, and a new Fed tightening cycle remain risks to the outlook.” ~ Robert Hughes

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AIER Leading Indicators Index Dips Back Below Neutral

– May 12, 2022

“AIER’s Leading Indicators Index fell eight points to a below-neutral 46 in April. Rising prices, a new Fed tightening cycle, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and new lockdowns in China are risks to the economic outlook. Caution is warranted.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Food Prices Send AIER’s Everyday Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in April

– May 11, 2022

“AIER’s Everyday Price Index rose again in April led by food prices. Sustained price pressures, a new Fed tightening cycle, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and lockdowns in China are threats to the economic outlook.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Private Payrolls Add 406,000 Jobs in April

– May 6, 2022

“Payroll gains remained strong in April, providing support for growth. However, sustained price pressures, a new Fed tightening cycle, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and renewed lockdowns in China are significant risks for the economy.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Weekly Initial Claims Hit an Eleven-Week High but Remain Below the Pre-Pandemic Level

– May 5, 2022

“Weekly initial claims rose to the highest level since February but continue to suggest a very tight labor market. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, renewed lockdowns in China, sustained elevated price increases, and a new Fed tightening cycle remain risks to the outlook.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Unit Auto Sales Rose in April, but Remain Low

– May 5, 2022

“Light-vehicle sales rose in April but remain well below pre-pandemic ranges. Assemblies rose in March, but component shortages continue to restrain production. Inventory and prices show signs of stabilization recently, though at extreme levels.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Services-Sector Survey Suggests Continued Price Pressures and Perhaps Some Weakening in Demand

– May 5, 2022

“Services-sector expansion continued in April, but labor and materials shortages are sustaining price pressures. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, lockdowns in China, and Fed tightening are threats to the economy.” ~ Robert Hughes

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Private-Sector Job Openings and Quits Hit New Highs in March

– May 3, 2022

“Private-sector job openings and quits rose to new record highs in March. Labor difficulties, material shortages, and logistical issues as well as high inflation, a new Fed tightening cycle, and global economic disruptions are threatening the U.S. economy.” ~ Robert Hughes

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