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Economy in Brief

Housing Starts Rebounded
by Tom Moeller May 17, 2005

Housing starts rebounded 11.0% in April and recovered about half of the prior month's unrevised 17.6% decline.The rise to 2.038M exceeded Consensus expectations for 1.97M starts. Figures were revised back to 2003.

Single-family starts gained back just a piece of the prior month's sharp decline with a 6.3% m/m rise. All of the rise was due to a 21.1% (11.4% y/y) increase in the South while single family starts in the Northeast dropped for the third month this year (-12.9% y/y). Single family starts in the Midwest fell 7.6% (-19.1% y/y) and starts in the West were off 4.7% but still up 1.0% y/y.

Multi family starts gained back most of the prior moth's skid with a 35.2% rise.

Building permits rose 5.3%. This first increase in three months was nearly back to the record high.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) April March Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total 2,038 1,836 3.6% 1,950 1,854 1,7 10
  Single-family 1,635 1,538 0.7% 1,604 1,505 1,363
  Multi-family 403 298 17.3% 345 349 347
Building Permits 2,129 2,021 2.9% 2,058 1,8 88 1,749
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