No consistent trend is evident from data released in the first four months of this year.

The economic data being released continues to create uncertainty with no clear trend. Retail sales for April were reported as having declined by 0.2%. This follows a revised surge of 1.7% in March, a decline of 0.3% for February and an increase of 0.7% for January. This kind of saw tooth pattern makes it difficult to determine the current strength of the economy or forecasting future results. The large increase in inventories reported for the first quarter of the year makes it necessary to generate strong final demand to work down the inventories and propel future production growth.