Friday, May 16, 2008

Housing starts and permits bounce back

The New Residential Construction report for April showed that housing construction bounced back a bit in April, with permits up 4.9% and starts up 8.2%, but this may simply be an exaggerated seasonal move. In other words, there usually is an increase in housing construction as the weather warms up from deep Winter, and the gloom in February and March may simply have shifted a greater than usual amount of housing activity from March to April. I would want to see at least three consecutive months of improvement before suggesting that new housing construction has seen its bottom. Still, the April numbers are not very consistent with a deepening recession.

-- Jack Krupansky

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