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Positive leading indicators

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Good news today from the big boxes. Home Depot reported fourth-quarter sales up 32% thanks to a revival in the nation’s housing market:

Home Depot, like its peers, has been benefiting from recent improvements in the housing market. The broad revival has made the retailer a popular choice with investors, pushing the stock up 36% in the past 12 months.

“We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said on Tuesday.

The boys in blue are up, too:

Lowe’s chief executive, Robert A. Niblock, said the company was seeing a pickup in spending even in areas of the country hit hardest by the housing slump, like Florida, Arizona and California.

“Rising home values have given homeowners additional confidence in spending on their homes,” Mr. Niblock said in an interview.

I’m not an economist, but these numbers are consistent with what I’ve been hearing from landscape contractors around the country: Business is picking up again, if slowly, and consumers are starting to spend again.


February 27th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

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