03/15/18: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today that its Empire State Manufacturing Index, which is based on surveys of manufacturing executives in the tri-state area of New York, Connecticut and northern New Jersey, rebounded during the first half of May after declining during April.

NY-Fed-Empire-Manufacturing-Index-(05-15-18)

Meanwhile, the National Association of Homebuilders (“NAHB”) reported that its housing market index, which is based on recent sales of new homes, homebuilder expectations of future home sales and the interests expressed by prospective homebuyers in purchasing a new home, also rebounded during the first half of May.

NAHB-Housing-Market-Index-(05-15-18)

Business Sales to Business Inventories Ratio Rises during March

Separately, data released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the ratio of business sales to business inventories rose during March, the latest month for which data are available.

Sales-to-Inventories-Ratio-(03-18)

Although the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that sales at U.S. retail stores increased at a slower pace during April than during the prior month, rising by 2.2%, as compared to 2.5% during March, the increases in the leading economic indicators mentioned above suggest that the U.S. economy will continue to expand at a healthy rate and that U.S. stock prices, in general, will trend higher over the next couple of months.