Opinions Uncensored

Schedule for Week of Feb 18, 2018

The key economic report this week is January existing home sales.----- Monday, Feb 12th -----All US markets are closed in observance of the Presidents' Day holiday.----- Tuesday, Feb 13th -----No major economic releases scheduled.----- Wednesday, Feb 14th -----7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers...

Oil Rigs "Continued gains in rig counts"

A few comments from Steven Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors LLC on Feb 16, 2018:• Total US oil rigs saw another solid week, +7 to 798• Horizontal oil rigs were up even better, +10 to 696...• All the action was in the inscrutable ‘Other’ plays, which added 12 horizontal oil rigs, compared to...

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January

From housing economist Tom Lawler:Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in January,...

Quarterly Housing Starts by Intent, Q4 2017

In addition to housing starts for January, the Census Bureau also released the Q4 "Started and Completed by Purpose of Construction" report today.It is important to remember that we can't directly compare single family housing starts to new home sales. For starts of single family structures,...

Comments on January Housing Starts

Earlier: Housing Starts increased to 1.326 Million Annual Rate in January
The housing starts report released this morning showed starts were up 9.7% in January compared to December, and starts were up 7.3% year-over-year compared to January 2017. This first graph shows the month to month comparison between 2017 (blue) and 2017 (red). Starts were up 7.3% in January compared to January 2017. Total starts are up 18.1% compared to January 2016 (two years ago). That is solid growth. Single family starts were up 7.6% year-over-year, and up 3.6% compared to December. Multi-family starts were up 6.7% year-over-year, and up 23.7% compared to December (multi-family is volatile month-to-month). Below is an update to the graph comparing multi-family starts and completions. Since it usually takes over a year...

Friday: Housing Starts

Friday:• At 8:30 AM ET, Housing Starts for January. The consensus is for 1.230 million SAAR, up from 1.192 million SAAR.• At 10:00 AM, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (Preliminary for February). The consensus is for a reading of 95.5, down from 95.7.

Earlier: Philly and NY Fed Manufacturing Surveys Showed Growth in February

Earlier from the NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey
Business activity continued to expand in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell five points to 13.1, suggesting a somewhat slower pace of growth than in January. ... Labor market conditions pointed to a modest increase in employment and hours worked.
And from the Philly Fed: February 2018 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey...