Housing Starts down, Home purchase apps up, consumer inflation modest

MBA Mortgage Applications  (week ended 1/15/2015)

– Purchase Index Week/Week -2.0%. Previous weeks were +18.0%,-15.0%, +4.0%, -3.0%, +0.04%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +16.0%, and -34.0%.

– Refinance Index Week/Week +19.0%. Previous weeks were +24.0%, -37.0%, +11.0%, +1.0%, +4.0%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +9.0%, and -23.0%.

– Composite Index Week/Week +9.0%. Previous weeks were +21.3%, -27.0%, +7.3%, -1.1%, +1.2%, -0.2%, -3.2%, +6.2%, -1.3%, -0.8%, -3.5%, and +11.8%.

Purchase applications are up 17% year-on-year.

Consumer Price Index (December 2015)

– CPI overall month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.0%
– CPI overall year/year   +0.7%. Previous was +0.5%
– CPI core (less food & energy) month/month  +0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
– CPI core (less food & energy) year/year +2.1%. Previous was +2.0%

Consumer Prices continue to show modest and restrained increases.

Housing Starts (December 2015)

– Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized  1,149,000. Previous was 1,179,000
– Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized 1,232,000. Previous was 1,282,000

This data is still weak.  In order to sustain population growth and replace destroyed housing units we need 1,500,000 Housing Starts/year. We have not been at that level since March 2007.

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 1/16/2016)

– Store Sales year/year  +1.4%. Previous was +1.7%.

The data that the rate of increase in Chain Store Sales (an indicator of Retail Sales in general) started slowing in April 2015.