Slowest housing market in years is weighing on consumer spending

Plunging U.S. home sales are having a ripple effect on consumer spending, as fewer Americans are moving into houses that need to be outfitted with furniture and appliances.

The effects are visible across the economy. Spending on furniture and related items fell nearly 12% from the year-earlier period in October.

Home goods sellers including Z Gallerie and Serta Simmons Bedding have filed for bankruptcy this year, citing weaker demand, and more are probably coming.

Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s chief executive said last month that consumers are hesitant to spend on expensive furniture.

Home Depot Inc., the hardware and appliance store, said its revenue will likely drop this fiscal year.

The Federal Reserve last year started a rate hiking campaign to tame inflation, and slowing the housing market is a key way to make that happen.

In October, mortgage rates reached their highest level since 2000, helping to make housing the least affordable

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Retail Sales Slip 0.4% in February After January’s Burst

A shopper carries multiple bags while walking in Las Vegas. (Ty O’Neil/Associated Press)

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NEW YORK — America’s consumers trimmed their spending in February after a buying burst in January, underscoring the volatility of the economic environment.

The government said March 15 that retail sales slipped 0.4% after jumping a revised 3.2% in January, helped by an increase in auto sales. Retail sales were down in November and December, the critical holiday period.

The February retail sales figure was weighed down by a 1.8% drop in auto sales as well as declines at restaurants and stores selling furniture and clothing. Excluding autos, sales slipped 0.1% from January, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales at furniture stores fell 2.5%, while business at restaurants declined 2.2% in February from January. Sales at department stores slid 4%. But shoppers spent more online

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Retail sales dip 0.4% in February after buying burst in Jan.

NEW YORK (AP) — America’s consumers trimmed their spending in February after a buying burst in January, underscoring the volatility of the economic environment.

The government said Wednesday that retail sales slipped 0.4% after jumping a revised 3.2% in January, helped by an increase in auto sales. Retail sales were down in November and December, the critical holiday period.

The February retail sales figure was weighed down by a 1.8% drop in auto sales as well as declines at restaurants and stores selling furniture and clothing. Excluding autos, sales slipped 0.1% from January, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales at furniture stores fell 2.5%, while business at restaurants declined 2.2% in February from January. Sales at department stores slid 4%. But shoppers spent more online and at electronics stores, health and beauty stores and food retailers, according to the report.

Shoppers remain relatively resilient, getting a boost from a strong

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Signs of slowing seen in February

Retail sales and wholesale prices in the United States declined in February, giving Federal Reserve officials more room to potentially pause interest rate increases as policymakers weigh the impact of a banking crisis against inflation risks.

American consumers trimmed retail spending in February after a buying burst in January driven by auto sales. The drop in consumer spending — a key measure tracked by the Fed — occurred as plummeting egg prices drove the slowdown in wholesale inflation.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales slipped 0.4% after jumping a revised 3.2% in January. Retail sales were down in November and December, the critical holiday period.

The February retail sales figure was weighed down by a 1.8% drop in auto sales, as well as declines at restaurants and stores selling furniture and clothing. Excluding autos, sales slipped 0.1% from January, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales at furniture stores

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Big stores see how we spend. Here are 4 things they say about the economy | WUWM 89.7 FM

It’s a tentative sort of anxiety. Large store chains such as Walmart, Home Depot and T.J.Maxx are steeling for a tricky year, given that shoppers have begun cutting back — but how much further? Some retailers, such as Best Buy and Macy’s, are already feeling the slowdown.

More than a dozen retailers have dropped a flurry of financial reports in recent weeks. They have a broad view of consumer spending, which is a key driver of the U.S. economy. Here’s what they say.

People are still spending, though stores’ forecasts are cautious

Discounts during the holidays and a fairly warm January brought shoppers out to malls and department stores in a surprise shopping spree to start the year. Big-box and food giants — Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger, McDonald’s and others — reported growing sales thanks to higher prices on food and essentials.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said the U.S.

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Home Improvement Retailers Are Still Winning With Analysts, to an Extent

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Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem says the big home-improvement retailers are trading more like discretionary stocks vulnerable to weaker consumer spending than is justified.


Stefani Reynolds /AFP via Getty Images

The current state of the economy is a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Think that the doom and gloom is overstated? Wrap yourself in the blanket of a tight labor market, rising wages, and Americans’ high savings and low delinquency rates.

Worried the worst has yet to come? Wallow in record inflation, the Federal Reserve’s aggressive moves, recession fears, and the potential for the job market to weaken.

Of course, most investors have chosen the latter path. That is reflected by stocks’ big declines in both retail and the consumer discretionary sector as a whole in 2022.

Wells Fargo

retail analyst Zachary Fadem seems to agree. On Thursday, he wrote that the macro backdrop is “increasingly dubious,” leading

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