Housing Starts up. Single Family Starts down.

CPI (March 2013)

– CPI core (less food & energy) Month/Month 0.1%

– CPI core (less food & energy)  Year/Year  1.9%

– CPI Month/Month -0.2%

– CPI Year/Year 1.5%

Inflation contained at this level is well inside the safety zone the Federal Reserve wants to justify maintaining its loose monetary policy.

Housing Starts (March 2013)

– Starts – Level –  1,036,000. Previous was 917,000

– Permits – Level – 902,000. Previous was 946,000.

This data is the seasonally adjusted, annualized rate. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 619,000 which is 4.8% below the revised February figure of 650,000.  The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 392,000.

Housing Starts and Permits are counted in units.  A 40 unit apartment building is 40 Housing Starts.

Chain Store Sales (week ended 4/13/2013)

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales

– Store Sales – Week/Week -1.1%. Previous was +0.7% – Store Sales – Year/Year 2.0%. Previous week was +2.1%.

Redbook

– Store Sales Year/Year 2.0 %. Previous was +2.5%.

In 2012 Easter was on April 8 so comparison of year/year data may be explained entirely by the movement of Easter into the 1st Q this year.  The week/week data is of concern and continues to indicate weak GDP growth.

Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization (March 2013)

– Production Month/Month +0.4%. Previous was +0.7%.

– Capacity Utilization Rate 78.5%.  Previous was 79.6%.

– Manufacturing  Month/Month -0.1%. Previous was +0.9%.

Industrial Production was up because utility output was +5.3% due to colder weather.  The manufacturing component is disappointingly soft.