Residential construction data for October was mixed.
The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported
that the rate of permitting flattened and completions declined. Housing starts,
usually considered the key number, continued to climb.
Permits for residential construction were issued at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,545,000 units, virtually identical to the September
pace after its revision down from 1,553,000. Permits have grown by 2.8 percent
The September rate had been higher than anticipated, so
builders may now be working off a backlog. Still, October’s permits were only
slightly less than forecast. Analysts polled by Econoday had looked for a range
of 1,520,000 to 1,600,000 with a consensus of 1,560,000.