U.S. April Housing starts up 8.2%

April housing starts 1.032 million unit rate. April building permits up 4.9% vs March decline of 5%.

MoM or YoY?

MoM, although March was revised upwards.
Here is the full report:


So 30% down YoY. With there always being a jump between March and April as the weather improves. Not really good news, I’d say.

The stats are seasonally adjusted so such trends are factored in. The real problem remains the huge overhang of unsold inventory - but there does seem to be the sign of something stirring. It’s surprising how benign the recent data from the US has been (1st QTR GDP, latest CPI, weekly jobless claims, nonfarm payrolls and now this).

If you are looking at a MoM figure, that is not a seasonally adjusted figure.

See here why job stats look benign:
bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ … cutti.html
Also note that jobs need to increase at 1.5% a year to compete with demographics in the 25-55 male age group (what the BLS statistic captures).

See here why CPI stats look benign:
bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/ … on-mi.html
and also here for a more realistic picture:

When you take into account a more realistic price growth rate (not one that has been butchered to keep social security payments low - by everyone’s favourite honourary Irishman Bill Clinton) that includes a proper weighting for food and energy (i.e. that is based on how much a household spends on food and energy), CPI does not look good at all. If you use that CPI versus growth to calculate real growth, the economy is already in a deep recession.

The US has discovered how to have a recession proof economy - discount the bad, double up on the good. If you tell people it’s only a temporary factor caused by external influences, sure won’t everything be fine. Isn’t that right, Mr. Mugabe?

From the report:

“Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 978,000.
This is 4.9 percent (±1.2%) above the revised March rate of 932,000, but is 34.3 percent (±1.4%) below the revised April 2007 estimate
of 1,489,000.”


“Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,032,000. This is 8.2 percent (±14.5%)* above the
revised March estimate of 954,000, but is 30.6 percent (±6.7%) below the revised April 2007 rate of 1,487,000.”

So the MoM stats are comparisons of seasonally adjusted annual rates.

Sorry, septic, I was reading the seasonally adjusted table as not adjusted.

But I stand by my assertion that this is the lowest April since 1991. Does that mean a bottom? I don’t believe so:
From Calculated Risk
bp2.blogger.com/_pMscxxELHEg/SC2 … pr2008.jpg