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PLANALYTICS: CONSUMER DEMAND FOR SUMMER PROJECTS IMPROVES OVER LAST YEAR
Source: Planalytics

Most of the country has experienced near normal or above normal temperatures in July. Many western locations were warmer than the prior year while the Gulf Coast and Southeast have cooled off some from a very hot July 2016. Overall, it has been a wetter month than last July.

Consumer demand for summer products was generally positive. In some markets, the comparatively cooler conditions helped boost consumer activity for outdoor home improvement projects and lawn/garden maintenance (as extreme heat can keep people indoors and curtail these activities). Planalytics is projecting a weather-driven sales gain of $512 million for DIY/home centers vs. last July. Planalytics' weather-driven demand models show lawn mowers up 15% in the Northeast and garden products up 27% along the Gulf Coast. Weather is also projected to add $79 million to apparel store sales compared to last year.

Conversely, increased precipitation in eastern markets has depressed restaurant traffic levels. Planalytics is projecting the weather will bring a $506 million hit to restaurants vs. last July. Conditions dampened traffic by 3-6% in markets like Jacksonville, Charleston, Baltimore, and Boston.