This Week: Retail sales, housing starts, CarMax earns

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The Commerce Department issues its May tally of U.S. retail sales Tuesday and its latest monthly data on newly started residential construction projects Wednesday

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:



The shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus have led to steep declines in retail sales nationwide.

Sales plunged by a record 16.4% in April. That followed a skid of 8.3% in March. But now that states have been easing restrictions on businesses, economists expect retail sales jumped 8.5% in May from the previous month. The Commerce Department issues its May tally of U.S. retail sales Tuesday.

Retail sales, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Dec. 0.1

Jan. 0.8

Feb. -0.4

March -8.3

April -16.4

May (est.) 8.5

Source: FactSet


New government data on residential construction should provide insight into the state of the new-home market.

The Commerce Department is expected to report Wednesday that builders broke ground on new single-family homes and apartments at a faster pace in May than in the previous month. U.S. home construction slowed in April to the lowest level in five years as the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns disrupted homebuilding, leading to a 30.2% drop in groundbreakings.

Housing starts, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

Dec. 1,587,000

Jan. 1,617,000

Feb. 1,567,000

March 1,276,000

April 891,000

May (est.) 1,200,000

Source: FactSet


CarMax serves up its latest quarterly report card Friday.

Wall Street expects the used car dealership operator’s fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue declined from a year earlier. In April, CarMax warned that its sales would be down significantly as the coronavirus outbreak forced the company to shutter some of its locations. To cope, the company introduced curbside pickup and home delivery at most of its open locations.

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