Tag Archives: construction

Housing Starts Rebound Slowly

Housing starts rose to a 946,000-unit pace in March, after being revised up slightly for the month of February. With revisions, starts are running close to expectations although they should be stronger given the lack of inventories on the market. That said, it was encouraging to see the gain in starts concentrated in the single-family [...]

Construction Activity Remained Weak in February

Construction spending rose 0.1% in February, after being revised down slightly for the month of January. Losses in single-family construction, most likely due to unusually harsh winter weather, offset gains in multifamily construction. Inventories of new single-family homes remain extremely tight. Commercial construction also showed some pockets of weakness, most notably in office construction for [...]

New Home Sales Slacken in February

New single-family home sales dropped 3.3% in February to a 440,000-unit annualized rate, the slowest monthly pace since September 2013. Moreover, sales for the month of January were revised lower. More of the weakness in the new home market can be attributed to unusually harsh winter weather; builders in the worst-affected areas were literally sidelined,

Too Cool for the Fed: Inflation and Housing

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a tepid 0.1% in February from the month prior; a sharp drop in energy prices almost entirely offset a jump in food prices, largely in response to a drought affecting parts of the country that escaped the polar vortex.

Weather Takes a Toll on Production

Industrial production fell 0.3% in January, with losses in manufacturing and mining activity more than offsetting a surge in utilities. Subzero temperatures and unusually cold weather in what are typically more mild climates prompted many people to turn up their thermostats and hibernate in their homes across the country. At the same time, harsh weather [...]

A Ray of Light Amidst Clouds in the Labor Market

Nonfarm payrolls edged up a tepid 113,000 in January, after rising only 75,000 in December. Revisions to both October and November, however, were substantial, which suggests we had a cushion on employment, as the winter doldrums set in. The week that the survey was taken was the mildest weather-wise for the month, which probably accounted [...]

Upside Surprise in Single-Family Home Construction

Construction spending rose a marginal 0.1% in December and was revised down slightly for November. Much of the weakness was concentrated in the public sector. Unusually harsh winter weather likely contributed to the weakness. The upside surprise was in residential construction, particularly single-family home construction,

New Home Sales Slide

New home sales dropped to a lower-than-expected 414,000-unit annualized pace in December and were revised lower for the previous month. September and October had previously been revised higher. Between 2012 and 2013, new home sales rose 16.4% but the pace of sales moderated quite a bit at the end of the year. That is of [...]

Inflation Low on Energy; Weekly Earnings Rise

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) flatlined in November as a drop in energy prices offset price increases in the service sector. The rise in prices was in non-medical services; both medical services and prescription drug costs continued to moderate in November, which reflects what appears to be a more systemic trend in medical costs.

Public Construction Increases; Private Investing Falls

Construction spending rose 0.8% in October; almost all of those gains, however, were in the public sector, now being driven by a rebound in spending at the state and local levels. Private sector construction spending actually contracted