2017 Economic Calendar
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Housing Starts  
Released On 8/16/2017 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Starts - Level - SAAR1.215 M1.213 M1.225 M1.174 M to 1.250 M1.155 M
Permits - Level - SAAR1.254 M1.275 M1.246 M1.230 M to 1.270 M1.223 M

Housing starts couldn't hold the 1.200 million annualized line in July, falling to a lower-than-expected 1.155 million. The rate is now back to the weakness of March and April in what may be emerging as a declining trend this year. Permits also fell but are holding over 1.200 million, at 1.223 million which is down from June's 1.275 million but with this trend holding up better.

The swing factor is multi-family units, the smaller of the report's two components but, after a run of heavy building earlier this year, are now in retreat. Multi-family starts fell to a 299,000 rate in July from June's 353,000 and are down 34 percent year-on-year. Multi-family permits, at 412,000, are down nearly 10 percent.

Single-family data are holding steady with starts at 856,000 for an 11 percent yearly gain and permits at 811,000 and a 13 percent gain.

Putting all the pieces together: starts are down 5.6 year-on-year in weakness offset by permits which are up 4.1 percent. Permits are the forward looking indication in this report and today's news, despite July weakness and general volatility in the data, is good. The housing sector, even with starts being soft, looks to be a contributor to the second-half economy.

Consensus Outlook
Starts and permits proved unexpectedly weak in both April and May but then surged in June, up a monthly 8.3 percent to a 1.215 million annualized rate for starts and up 7.4 percent for permits to a 1.254 million rate. Still both readings relative to the first quarter slowed. Housing starts for July are seen rising to a 1.225 million rate with housing permits at 1.246 million. This report is often very volatile and sharp revisions to June's starts could affect revision estimates for second-quarter GDP.

A housing start is registered at the start of construction of a new building intended primarily as a residential building. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.  Why Investors Care
Monthly figures are often volatile housing starts fluctuate more than many indicators. It takes several months for total housing starts to establish a trend. Consequently, we have depicted total starts relative to a five month moving average.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/192/163/164/185/166/167/198/169/1910/1811/1712/19
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