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The U.S. Census Bureau reported new residential building permits were up 6.0% in August to a seasonally adjusted 1.728M, 13.5% above the August 2020 rate of 1.522M. Single-family permits were up .6% from a revised July figure of 1.048M. New residential building permits increased in all regions with the Northeast leading (+18.5%), followed by the South (+6.7%), West (+3.5%), and Midwest (+0.9%). Privately-owned housing starts were up 3.9% to 1.615M, 17.4% above the August 2020 rate of 1.376M. Single-family housing starts were down, coming in at 1.076M, 2.8% below July’s revised 1.107M. Both the West (-20.5%) and the Midwest (-12.5%) saw declines in single-family housing starts, while the Northeast (+52.4%) and South (+1.4%) saw increases. Privately-owned housing completions reported at 1.330M, down 4.5% from July, but up 9.4% over August 2020. Single-family housing completions came in at 971K, a 2.8% increase from July.
The US Federal Reserve reported that the target range for the federal funds rate will remain unchanged at between the 0.00% – 0.25% range, but moderation in its $120 billion asset purchase program is likely to be coming sooner than later. The central bank stated, “If progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted.” The Committee indicated that it would continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward maximum employment and price stability goals. The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2% over the longer run.
The Labor Department reported an increase in initial jobless claims for the week ending September 18. The seasonally adjusted initial claims came in at 351,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility was 335,750 a decrease of 750 from the previous week’s revised average. According to the unadjusted data California (+24,221) and Virginia (+12,879) contributed significantly to the increase, while Louisiana recovered some from the hurricane posting a (-7,308) decrease. Continuing claims reported in at 2.845M for the week ending September 11, an increase of 131,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 2.714M level. The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell by 15,750 to 2.804M. A little over 11.2M people were receiving benefits under all programs for the week ending September 4th down 856K from the previous week. There were nearly 26.6M people collecting benefits in the comparable week in 2020.
Tuesday September 28 – CB Consumer Confidence (September)
Thursday September 30 – GDP (QoQ) (Q2)
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