Broker Check

Market Insights

| January 19, 2021

Construction Spending Up

Construction spending is viewed as a good indicator of the
economy's momentum because both individuals,
businesses and our governments generally only put
money into construction when they are confident to justify
the building expenses (that might not be as true with
respect to our local-, state- and federal-government, but
that’s another topic).

On January 4th the U.S. Department of Commerce
reported that:

• Total construction spending during November 2020
was up 0.9% from October

• The November 2020 figure is up 3.8% from
November 2019

• During the first eleven months of this year,
construction spending amounted to $1,314.1 billion,
4.4% above the same period in 2019

• Spending on private construction in November was
up 1.2% from October

• Residential construction was up 2.7%

• Nonresidential construction down 0.8%

• Public construction spending was down 0.2%

• Educational construction up 0.3%

• Highway construction was up 1.8%

Retail Sales Remain Solid

The Johnson Redbook Index is a weekly retail sales index
and is one of the most watched indicators on Wall Street.
Created by independent trend-watcher Redbook and
released every Tuesday morning, the Index allows Wall
Street to better understand current trends in retail sales,
which is important as consumer spending accounts for
approximately 2/3 of the U.S. GDP.

Of course it is important to know that Redbook’s data
excludes categories that were severely impacted by
COVID, including restaurants and auto dealers.

Based on the release from January 5th, the Johnson
Redbook Index supports the notion that retail sales remain
strong, especially after the holiday spending season that is
so important to retailers.

Redbook's same-store sales index for the week of January
2nd showed a 5.5% year-over-year growth versus a crazily
high 8.9% year-over-year growth the week before and a
6.5% year-over-year growth from two weeks ago.

These weekly numbers bode well and are causing
analysts to reevaluate their projections for total retail sales
in the month of December – a report scheduled to be
released in about two weeks.

More Data Later in the Week

More economic data will be released later this week,
including the ISM Services Index on Thursday and the
Employment Situation Report on Friday