Housing Starts up Slow and Steady. Retail Disappoints.

Housing Starts (October 2012)

Starts – Level – (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate)  894,000. Previous was 872,000
Permits – Level – (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate)   866,000. Previous was 894,000.

The steady gains are nice.  Keep in mind that the natural level for Housing Starts in order to keep pace with population growth and assuming a constant number of people per household is 1,500,000 and we are now at 60% of that.  Encouraging Housing Starts is the lack of sufficient supply of Existing Homes for sale. 

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (week ended 11/17)

Store Sales – Week/Week -0.3%. Previous was +0.7%
Store Sales – Year/Year  2.5%. Previous was 1.8%.

Redbook Store Sales (week ended 11/17)

Store Sales Year/Year  1.8%. Previous was 1.6%

Retail was hard hit by the election which, as in 2008, showed rather dramatic slowing in consumer spending October 15 – November 7 and by Sandy.  Recovery in Spending is happening but the pace of increase has slowed in the last week. Consumer Spending is what drives the economy.