Gradual Improvement Remains the Name of the Game
· Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in December, following a downwardly revised print of 0.4 percent in November. A drop in auto sales held down the headline, but excluding autos and gasoline, sales rose 0.6 percent.
· After jumping 23.1 percent November, housing starts fell 9.8 percent. The trend remains solidly upward, and starts averaged 1.0 million units in the final quarter of the year.
· Industrial production rose 0.3 percent in December despite a 1.6 percent drop in utilities output. Manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent on broad gains in nondurable goods industries.
Read it here: Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, January 17