Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Housing Starts
Single-family housing starts were virtually unchanged in February, dropping a slight 0.6 percent. After hitting rock-bottom back in February 2009, the series climbed solidly through July and has been charting a relatively level path thereafter. Although the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of single-family starts has risen nearly 40 percent from the record low last February, it still sits below any recession low prior to the current episode. The more volatile total starts series, meanwhile, posted a larger (but not atypical) drop of 5.9 percent in February following a 6.6 percent gain in January. Permits for single-family homes, like starts, were little changed over the month, dropping just 0.2 percent and tracking a stable but depressed course around roughly 500,000 annual units. While permits are 32.0 percent above the year-ago pace, they are still incredibly low compared to peak rates in 2005 exceeding 1.7 million units.