Housing Starts (December 2012)
Starts – Level – (seasonally adjusted, annualized) 954,000. Previous was 861,000.
Permits – Level – (seasonally adjusted, annualized) 903,000. Previous was 899,000.
Year/Year Starts are +36.9%.
Housing Starts have been steadily improving toward the natural level of 1,500,000 needed to house an increasing population and replace units destroyed or otherwise taken out of the equation. Hopefully, we will reach that natural level this year.
Jobless Claims (week ended 1/12/2013)
New Claims (seasonally adjusted) 335,000. Previous was revised to 372,000. 4-week Moving Average 359,250.
Unadjusted claims were 555,708 and increase of 2,360 from the previous week. This is a time of the year when jobless claims has very large seasonal adjustments. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending December 29 was 5,821,966, an increase of 465,547 from the previous week. There were 7,826,846 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2011.
Philadelphia Fed Survey of General Business Conditions (January 2013)
Index -5.8. Previous was +8.1. The December increase appears to have been an anomaly. The relative strengths of the regional Fed surveys may indicate the movement of business to lower labor costs regions.