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Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
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STRONG FOUNDATION

Home Depot just notched its best quarter since Superstorm Sandy

By Matt Phillips

America’s largest home improvement chain just reported its best quarterly sales performance since Superstorm Sandy slammed New York and New Jersey in 2013, prompting a surge of rebuilding activity.

The nearly 10% boost in sales for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2015 suggests robust consumer activity in the sector. In a conference call with analysts, Home Depot executives cited strength in sales of big-ticket items such as roofing, appliances, and kitchen countertops and cabinets.

They also noted that activity from professional contractors outpaced that of do-it-yourselfers, an indication that the home-building sector is seeing some strength as well. Just released existing home sales for January confirm the view of robust housing activity, with sales rising to a six-month high.

That’s a welcome sign that concerns about a slowing China, weak US manufacturing activity, and the strong dollar haven’t hampered the all-important US consumer economy.