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Housing Starts (Jun)

Survey 960K
Actual 1066K
Prior 975K
Revised 977K

Karim writes:

Starts up 9.1%, due to the following.

*New York City enacted a new set of construction codes

effective for permits authorized as of July 1, 2008. In June there

was a large increase in building permits issued for multifamily

residential buildings in New York City.

Multi-family starts in Northeast up 102.6%.

Single family starts down 9.2% in northeast, and down 5.3% nationally.

Same effect on permits (up 73% for mult-family in northeast).

Single family permits down 3.5% nationally.

Initial claims rise from 348k to 366k.4wk average falls from 381k to 376k.

Continuing claims drop from 3203k to 3122k; 4wk average rises from 3126k to 3142k.


Building Permits (Jun)

Survey 965K
Actual 1091K
Prior 969K
Revised 978K

James writes:

Total starts were up 9.1% but single family was down -5.3% while multi-fam was up 42.5%. Then look at the regional break down. Multi-fams were up 102.6% m/m in the northeast which apparently has something to do w/ a tax abatement for rushing into some starts and permits in the NY area. Don’t know the details there but what matters to the broader market is that single family starts and permits declined. Less supply to compete w/ tons of inventory is what we want to see so the net/net = positive.

Right, thanks, either way housing starts are muddling around the 1 million mark, down from about 2 million not long ago.

Actual inventories of new homes are falling quickly; so seems to me a shortage is developing.

The weekly applications are steady at levels that used to be associated with maybe 1.5 million annual starts.

Starts peaked at 2.6 million units around 1972 with only about 215 million population.

They can return to 1.5 million pretty quickly, and I’d still consider that a depressed level.

4 week average jobless claims again moved down a bit, as did continuing claims.

Corporate earnings pretty good so far.

Q2 GDP looking like maybe 2% to be released July 31.

Government deficit spending moving up nicely -the tide that’s lifting all boats- and supporting prices/’inflation’ which turns the relative value story into an inflation story.

Dems ready with more fiscal packages to fire off as needed.

While shoes do keep falling, each one seems to do less damage and pass more quickly than the prior bumps. The agencies were the latest, the USD at stake were the largest, and the ‘crisis’ didn’t even last a week.

With stocks on the move there will be more talk within the FOMC of the low Fed Funds rate creating an asset bubble like they think it did in 1999 and 2003.


Initial Jobless Claims (Jul 12)

Survey 380K
Actual 366K
Prior 346K
Revised 348K


Continuing Jobless Claims (Jul 5)

Survey 3180K
Actual 3122K
Prior 3202K
Revised 3203K


Philadelphia Fed (Jul)

Survey -15.0
Actual -16.3
Prior -17.1
Revised n/a

Hanging tough off the bottom, but still depressed.


Philadelphia Fed TABLE (Jul)

Prices paid jumped to 75.6 from numbers that were already way too high.