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Reports and Announcements for the Week of May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 30, 2016 12:00 PM

Wall Street Wrap-up - Stocks Up, Corporate Profits Decline, Year of DefaultsSales at U.S. retailers and restaurants grew at the fastest pace in more than a year last month, a sign consumers stepped up spending after a slow start to 2016. Retail sales advanced 1.3% in April from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $453 billion, the Commerce Department said. It was the best monthly gain since March 2015. Compared with a year earlier, retail sales grew 3%. That is well above the annual rate of inflation, which has been running at about 1% this year, as measured by the consumer-price index. And in the past year, Internet and catalog sales have grown more than three times as fast as overall sales, up 10.2%. Department-store sales, meanwhile, sank 1.7% over the past 12 months.

Home building in the U.S. rebounded in April, a sign the housing market could be finding traction after a slow first quarter. Housing starts rose 6.6% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million in April, the Commerce Department said. April’s uptick was driven by a jump in starts in the Midwest and a pickup in multifamily construction. Starts on single-family homes, which account for roughly two-thirds of new construction, rose 3.3% in April. Starts on multifamily buildings with five or more units, which include apartments and condominiums, rose 10.7% to 373,000.  New applications for building permits, a bellwether for forthcoming construction, rose 3.6% to 1.1 million.

U.S. consumer prices jumped in April at the fastest pace in more than three years, propelled by rising gasoline prices, as underlying inflationary pressures continued to firm. The consumer-price index, which measures what Americans pay for everything from fresh fruit to footwear, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in April from the prior month after rising 0.1% in March, the Labor Department said. That was the largest one-month increase since February 2013.  A measure of underlying price pressures, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, rose 0.2% last month after ticking up 0.1% in March. Core prices were up 2.1% from a year earlier, a fifth consecutive month of annual growth above 2%—the longest such streak in four years.

Week in Review, hosted by Dr. David Mielke, covers the previous and coming week’s business stories and stock market news while discussing how these events will impact the business world – encouraging you to form opinions on this week’s topics.

12:00 PM every Monday
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