Recent Updates

  • US: GDP by Industry (Q1)
  • Canada: Retail Trade (May), CPI (Jun)
  • Thailand: Trade (Jun); China: Loans from Financial Institutions (Jun); Korea: Trade in Goods (Jun); Taiwan: Export Orders (Jun)
  • Turkey: NCI Index (Jul)
  • Turkey: Established & Liquidated (Jun-Press); Morocco: CPI, Public Finance (Jun)
  • Spain: Workers Affected by Layoffs (Apr); Foreign Trade (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Winter Weather Wallops U.S. Housing Starts During December
by Tom Moeller  January 19, 2011

Severe snow storms just after Christmas dealt another setback to new housing activity last month Total housing starts fell 4.3% in December to 529,000 (AR) units from 553,000 during November, initially reported at 555,000. The latest figure fell short of Consensus expectations for 550,000 starts. For the year as a whole, starts nevertheless grew 5.8% from 2009 following a three-quarters decline since the early-2006 peak.

The December decline reflected a 9.0% decline in starts of single-family homes to 417,000. The latest was the lowest level since May of 2009. Starts of multi-unit units increased a minimal 17.9% to 112,000 but remained down by one-quarter from three months ago. Starts of 2-to-4 unit structures, which are few in number, fell by one quarter m/m but starts with more than five units increased by one-quarter from the lowest level since February. Starts in the Midwest fell more than one-third m/m (-26.6% y/y) during December and starts in the Northeast fell one-quarter from November (-4.9% y/y). Starts in the South fell a minimal 2.2% (-16.0% y/y) but starts out West increased one-third m/m and by one-third y/y.

Working the other way, building permits rose 16.7% m/m (-6.8% y/y) to the highest level since March. Permits for single-family units rose 5.5% but remained down 14.9% from last December. Multi-family permits rose more than one-half m/m (18.9% y/y).

The housing starts figures can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Baby Boomers Face a Changing Retirement Landscape from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Housing Starts (000s,SAAR) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 529 553 533 -8.2% 586 554 900
 Single-Family 417 458 433 -14.2 472 442 616
 Multi-Family 112 95 100 24.4 115 112 284
Starts By Region
 Northeast 58 77 81 -4.9 72 61 120
 Midwest 69 112 94 -25.6 98 95 134
 South 262 268 263 -16.0 296 281 451
 West 140 96 95 28.4 121 117 195
Building Permits 635 544 552 -6.8 595 583 896
close
large image