The U.S. government is the primary data source for many including academics, analysts, and trade associations. The National Association of Home Builders is no exception. NAHB relies on data provided by the government to conduct studies on local economic impact of home building, update forecasts, and provide timely analysis of topics posted to Eye on Housing.
The government shutdown affects NAHB’s ability to obtain data and provide these services. The government shutdown recently forced NAHB to postpone Eye on Housing posts on construction spending, labor statistics, and producer prices. If the shutdown continues, analysis of consumer prices and housing starts will also be postponed.
An abbreviated list of upcoming data releases already postponed or in jeopardy is provided below.
Housing Starts – October 17
- However, it is important to note that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) will be published on schedule as it is an NAHB survey.
American Community Survey (3-year) – October 24
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Openings and Layoffs – October 7
Producer Price Index – October 11
Consumer Price Index – October 16
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Gross Domestic Product (3rd Quarter) – October 30
It is important to note the Federal Reserve and Federal Housing Finance Agency were unaffected by the shutdown. The Housing Price Index report remains on track for the October 23 release.
Although NAHB is able to access historical government data due to agreements with private vendors, the public is not as lucky. The Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis are dark and for most, historical data are out of reach.
However, recently, the Oxford University Press provided open access to Social Explorer for a limited time. Social Explorer website is providing access to Census data included the American Community Survey from 2005 to 2012.