US Housing Starts Slump Less than Forecast in December

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Jan 19, 2023, 14:00 UTC

US housing starts slumped by 1.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.382 million in December. The decrease was much smaller than expected.

Housing Market

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for December 2022.

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,330,000. This is 1.6 percent below the revised November rate of 1,351,000 and 29.9 percent below the December 2021 rate of 1,896,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 730,000; this is 6.5% below the revised November figure of 781,000.

Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 555,000 in December.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in December were a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,382,000. This is 1.4 percent (+16.9 percent) below the revised November estimate of 1,401,000 and is 21.8 percent (+11.2 percent) above the revised November figure of 817,000.

The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 463,000.

An estimated 1,553,300 housing units were started in 2022. This is 3.0 percent (+2.4 percent) below the 2021 figure of 1,601,000.

US Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Fall

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market remains tight despite higher interest rates.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 190,000 for the week-ended Jan. 14, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 214,000 claims for the latest week.

Philly Fed Index Improves Marginally in January, Price Gauges Ease

Manufacturing sector activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region at the start of 2023 improved a little, the results of a very closely followed survey revealed.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s factory sector index rose from a reading of -13.7 for December to -8.9 in January. Economists had forecast a reading of -10.0.

Additionally, a sub-index linked to the prices paid by companies fell back from 36.3 to 24.5.

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About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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