GO
Loading...

Higher Taxes Haven't Hurt Sales Yet: Home Depot CEO

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 | 4:30 PM ET
Home Depot CEO on GDP & the Housing Recovery
Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 | 2:30 PM ET
CNBC's Brian Sullivan speaks to Frank Blake, Home Depot CEO, about the recovery in the housing industry and the state of the consumer.

Home Depot expects 3 percent growth in 2013, the same it saw in 2012 as economic growth remains steady, CEO Frank Blake told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Wednesday.

"Housing is getting better," Blake said. "You can see it in terms of household formation, housing turnover, new home starts. There are a lot of data saying housing is actually improving." But he said it will still be a slow process.

That should help Home Depot, particularly as higher home prices make it more likely homeowners will take on improvement projects. "They know they're going to get the value out they're going to put in," he said.

Tim Wadhams, CEO of home improvement and building materials company Masco, meanwhile, predicted that the housing recovery will go on for four or five years. "A housing recovery is important, about 25-30 percent of our top-line is tied to housing," Wadhams said.

The repair/remodel business benefits as homeowners fix up their homes before selling them, while buyers tend to fix up their new homes after moving in.

(Read More: Housing Stocks Start to Show Some Cracks)

CEOs of the Housing Halo
Discussing the biggest threats to the U.S. economy, and the state of consumer spending, with Jim Hagedorn, Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO; Timothy Wadhams, Masco CEO; and James Stephen, Weber CEO.

Blake said that while housing will be an "assist," sales are still more tied to economic growth. The Home Depot executive also said consumers haven't pulled back following the payroll tax increase.

"We certainly haven't seen it so far," he said. "Partly our customer base is a homeowner so maybe a little less affected by payroll tax change."

Wadhams also said that higher payroll taxes and spiking gasoline have yet to "play out, but certainly could." He said a shock from Europe is one worry for the U.S. economy.

James Stephen, CEO of Weber Grills & Accessories also told CNBC that uncertainty surrounding the consumer is starting to improves. "The picture isn't perfect, but it's clearer," he said, and that will allow consumers to move forward.

Despite the recovering housing market, Home Depot doesn't plan to aggressively add new stores. "It's less about adding stores and getting more sales in the stores we have," Blake said. "As we have more sales in the store, we hire more people."

  Price   Change %Change
HD
---
MAS
---

Featured

Contact Retail

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Consumer