Housing starts once again failed to top 1 million. March's number came in at 946K vs expectations of 965K. On the bright side, February's level was revised slightly higher to 920K. On a year-over-year basis housing starts remain negative (-5.9%). After advancing significantly in 2011 and most of 2012, housing starts have now remained relatively stable since the end of 2012.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
US Econ Roundup - IP & Utilization Rates Beat, Housing Starts Miss Again
US industrial production rose by 0.7% in March vs consensus expectations of a 0.4% gain in March. This is even more impressive as February monthly gain was revised up from 0.6% to 1.2%. The 3-month % change, annualized, is now at nearly 7%. This is the fastest three-month growth in IP since July 2010. Capacity utilization accelerated significantly over the first quarter of the year. Capacity utilization is now almost back to pre-crisis levels and is at its highest level since July 2008. Economic utilizations (capacity utilization minus the unemployment rate) continues to improve as well.