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Economy in Brief

Housing Starts Firm
by Tom Moeller October 19, 2005

Housing starts remained firm last month and rose 3.4% m/m to 2.108M units.The prior month's figure was revised slightly higher and the September gain far outpaced Consensus expectations for a decline to 1.97M starts.

The Census Bureau indicated that the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the figures was minimal.

Single-family starts rose 2.6% due to 6.2% gains in both the South (14.0% y/y) and in the Midwest (7.3% y/y). In the Northeast, single family starts rose 0.7% (17.2% y/y) and in the West single family starts fell 5.3% (+11.7% y/y).

Multi family starts rose 7.8% m/m after an upwardly revised 1.5% August gain.

Federal Reserve Board Vice-Chairman Roger W. Ferguson's speech on the Economic Outlook for the United States can be found here.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) Sept Aug Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total 2,108 2,038 10.3% 1,950 1,854 1,710
  Single-family 1,747 1,703 12.3% 1,604 1,505 1,363
  Multi-family 361 335 1.1% 345 349 347
Building Permits 2,189 2,138 7.4% 2,058 1,8 88 1,749
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