Economic Statistics for 18 Jul 12 (Updated)
The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:
Housing starts rebounded 6.9% in June, to a 0.760 million annual rate. Housing permits, an indicator of future activity, fell -3.7% to a 0.755 million annual rate.
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reports mortgage applications rose 16.9% last week, with purchases down -0.1%, and re-finance applications up 22.0%.
Update: The Fed’s Beige Book report on the economy, while still troubling, was a bit more optimistic than expected. Retail sales, housing, loan demand, and inflation were moderately positive. Manufacturing is still weak, however. Overall, though, the report indicates a weakening recovery and sluggish economy. The strength in retail sales also is at odds with the official reporting, which indicates substantially more weakness than the Beige Book reports.