Secondary Data

Retail Sales
Measures total receipts of retail stores from samples representing all sizes and kinds of business in retail trade throughout the nation. It is the timeliest indicator of broad consumer spending patterns and is adjusted for normal seasonal variation, holidays, and trading-day differences.

Retail sales include durable and nondurable merchandise sold, and services and excise taxes incidental to the sale of merchandise. It doesn’t include sales taxes collected directly from the customer.

Housing Starts
Measures the number of residential units on which construction is begun each month. A “start” refers to excavation of the foundation of a residential home.

Housing is usually one of the first sectors to react to interest rate changes. Significant reaction of start/permits to changing interest rates signals interest rates are nearing trough or peak. To analyze, focus on the percentage change in levels from the previous month. Report is released around the middle of the following month.

Written by