Economy by the numbers: Signs point up

Wages are up, unemployment is low and retail sales are growing.
These are the headlines this year from the economy, which promises more good things to come.
What Americans are doing:

  • Selling and buying homes: 5.35 million sales of existing homes to April of 2019. More people are putting their homes on the market with total inventory up 1.9 percent in April.
  • Buying stuff: General merchandise sales have been strong and restaurant sales are rising. Total sales at department and clothing stores are expected to fall as online shopping takes over.
  • Getting new jobs: A shortage of workers and closings of retail stores have slowed hiring. Job growth is predicted to average 160,000 per month, down from 223,000 in 2018. But the labor market is tight with unemployment just 3.6 percent in May, the lowest since 1969. Pay growth is up with non-supervisor worker paychecks rising at an annual rate of 3.4 percent, according to Kiplinger.