There were encouraging reports today released regarding the housing sector and the manufacturing environment. Manufacturing can be seen as benefiting from the inventory restocking cycle. Housing on the other hand is still feeling some of the benefits of government stimulus.
More than just looking at the recent numbers in comparison to expectations, the charts below help to see just what is actually looking better and those area that continue to suffer. I can say with confidence that it appears that the housing sector is still suffering.
Today economic data was released for the following:
- Housing Starts (better than expected)
- Building Permits (in-line)
- Industrial Production (better than expected)
- Capacity Utilization (in-line), and
- Import Prices (higher than expected)
Additional commentary from Briefing:
January Housing Starts were +2.8% MoM to 591K vs the 580K consensus; even more impressive was that December’s numbers were revised higher to 575K from 557K starts. All of the revision came in the single-family sector as new starts were revised up to 477K from 456K.
We thought that last month’s starts data suggested builders were waiting on new construction until they get a better feel for how the market is going to react without govt assistance. January’s data, along with December’s revisions, suggest builders believe demand will remain stable… January Building Permits were -4.9% MoM to 621K vs the 620K consensus.
The decrease in permit applications does not necessarily mean starts will fall in the future…
January Industrial Production came in at +0.9% vs the +0.7% consensus, December was revised to +0.7% from +0.6%. The details of the report are encouraging for economic growth. Last month, utilities production was the main driver for positive production numbers. While utilities remained in the black in Jan, the manufacturing sector provided the bulk of the increase this month as production jumped 1.0% after falling 0.1% in Dec…
Capacity Utilization came in at 72.6% vs the 72.6% consensus. While all sectors posted increases in utilization rates, manufacturing utilization provided the strongest increase as it went to 69.2% from 68.4%…
January Import Prices were +1.4% MoM vs the +1.0% consensus; December was revised to +0.2% from 0.0%. January Import Prices were +11.5% YoY vs the +10.8% consensus…
Disclosure: Horowitz & Company clients may hold positions of securities mentioned as of the date published.