Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Inflation Trajectory?

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in March for the second consecutive month, compared to a 0.1% decline over the past 12 months. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the seasonally adjusted increase in March was the result of increases in the energy and shelter indexes offsetting a decrease… Read More ›

Modest Increase in Housing Production

Housing starts and permits rose modestly in March after a very disappointing February. Total housing starts increased 2% to an annual rate of 926,000 from an upwardly revised 908,000 in February. Single-family starts improved slightly better at a 4.4% increase to 618,000 from a virtually unchanged 592,000 in February. Multifamily starts did drop again to 308,000, the lowest annualized monthly… Read More ›

Builders’ Sentiment Bounces Back

Home builders reversed their one month decline in sentiment as the April NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased 4 points to 56 from a one-point downwardly revised 52 in March. The bounce back up to the January-February average suggests the March observation was an outlier. All three components revived to or above the early part of 2015. Current sales index… Read More ›

Producer Prices in March – Positive for the Economy, Negative for Building Materials, But In a Good Way

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for March, reporting that inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) increased 0.2% in March after a string of monthly declines. The overall increase was led by increasing prices for energy, mainly gasoline. Prices for services rose 0.1%. Rising energy prices and any indication… Read More ›

Teardown Single-Family Starts: About 32K in 2014

As of now, the Census Bureau is estimating that 647,000 single-family homes were started in 2014 (the December numbers will get one more revision before they’re final).  A question that has always interested NAHB is how many of these starts are teardowns—homes built on site where a previous structure had to be torn down first. Trying to get information like… Read More ›

Non-Revolving Credit Drives Consumer Credit Growth

The Federal Reserve Board recently reported that consumer credit outstanding rose by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6%, $186.2 billion, in February 2015. Consumer credit outstanding now totals $3.343 trillion. The expansion of total consumer credit outstanding reflected an increase in the outstanding amount of non-revolving consumer credit. Non-revolving consumer credit includes auto loans and student loans. According to the report,… Read More ›

Federal Open Market Committee March Minutes – Good Inflation, I Can’t Define It But I Know It When I See It

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting March 17-18 reveal relatively little new information about the deliberations beyond what was available from the post-meeting statement and press conference (March Meeting). Economic growth appears to have moderated somewhat in the first quarter, the labor market has improved markedly but indicators of underutilization remain, and… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Weak Employment Gains in March

The March employment report disappointed most economists, casting some doubt on the strength of the labor market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that payroll employment expanded by only 126,000 positions, with downward revisions totaling 69,000 for previously reported jobs gains in January and February. While the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5%, the downshift in the size of monthly… Read More ›

Construction Job Openings Grow

The number of open, unfilled construction sector positions increased noticeably in February. Overall, the construction labor market has been characterized by relatively higher levels of turnover over the last few months, with an increase in hiring and quits at the end of 2014 and an upward trend in job openings. According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis,… Read More ›

NAHB Updates Local Impact of Home Building Numbers

A recent Eye on Housing post reported on NAHB’s 800th customized local impact study. In addition to studies customized to a particular area, NAHB has traditionally produced a “typical local” report using national average inputs.  This report—showing the jobs, income and taxes generated by residential construction in a typical local area—is available free to everyone on NAHB’s web site. In April 2015, NAHB… Read More ›