Housing Starts (February 2013)
– Starts (seasonally adjusted, annualized rate) 917,000. Previous was 890,000 revised to 910,000.
– Permits (seasonally adjusted, annualized rate) 946,000. Previous was 925,000 revised to 904,000.
– Housing Completions (seasonally adjusted, annualized rate) were 711,000.
Single family starts were 618,000.
The natural level for starts – the one which would keep the number of people/household constant given increasing population – is about 1,500,000.
Note that the data is always in units. A 40 unit apartment building is 40 starts and the data is only for privately owned housing. Also, the sampling error margins for this preliminary data are very large compared to the changes in rates. The Census Bureau’s notes state that the rate of starts was +0.8% (±10.6%).
Chain Store Sales (week ended 3/16/2013)
– Store Sales – Week/Week +1.4%. Previous was +0.7%
– Store Sales – Year/Year +2.3%. Previous was +1.8%.
Store Sales Year/Year 2.9%. Previous was 2.7%.
There reports are healthy.
There is an FOMC meeting starting today with announcements tomorrow. Attention will probably be paid to language regarding money supply expansion.