By The Numbers

Business Analytics

Federal Funds Effective Rate (FEDFUNDS) and Inflation Indicators-

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis defines the federal funds rate as “the central interest rate in the U.S. financial market. It influences other interest rates such as the prime rate, which is the rate banks charge their customers with higher credit ratings. Additionally, the federal funds rate indirectly influences longer- term interest rates such as mortgages, loans, and savings, all of which are very important to consumer wealth and confidence.” The CPI-U is “a price index of a basket of goods and services paid by urban consumers.” T he PCE Price index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation by removing transient pricing.

Federal Funds Effective Rate and Yield Curve-

An inverted yield curve (defined as short-term interest rates are higher than long-term rates) may predict an impending recession.

Supply Chain

Inventories to Sales Ratio (Plumbing and HVAC Equipment and Supplies)-

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis defines Inventories to Sales Ratio as an indicator “of the number of months of inventory that are on hand in relation to the sales for a month. For example, a ratio of 2.5 would indicate… enough merchandise on hand to cover two and a half months of sales.”

Total Construction Spending in the U.S.-

The U.S. Census Bureau defines total construction spending as “the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S.” (

Producer Price Index for Plumbing Equipment, Fixtures and Fittings-

Producer Price Index for HVAC Equipment –

Source attribution: retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;

The U.S. Bureau of Statistics defines Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand as “measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output.” The PPI “allows users to examine inflation from the producer perspective for goods, services, and construction sold to businesses as inputs to production, excluding capital investment”.

Housing Starts (Single Family and Multifamily)-

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis defines starts as occurring “when excavation begins for the footings or foundation of a building”.

Building Permits (By Region)-

Trading Economics defines building permits as “approvals given by a local jurisdictions before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur.”

Privately Owned Housing Permits, Started and Completed-

Industry Outlook

Confidence Indicators-

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