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John Lounsbury
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John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25... More
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Global Economic Intersection
  • Housing Starts 3 comments
    Nov 18, 2009 11:39 PM
    Single family housing starts dropped unexpectedly in October to 529,000 from 592,000 in September.  Permits issued in October was also down to 552,000, which was 4.0% below September.  Two factors contributed:  (1) seasonally these numbers are declining this time of year and (2) uncertainty about the housing tax credit held down builders' commitments.

    However, when one looks at the big picture (courtesy of Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture - here), we can see that the latest numbers fit the recent historical pattern.



    Optimists will hang their hat on the slight decrease in the 12-month average slope and the fact that the monthly curve has broken above the 12-month average.  Pessimists will point out that seasonal factors should cause both to drop again.  Realists will wait and see.

    Read the news release from Realtor.org (here).
    Themes: housing
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Comments (3)
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  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4771) | Send Message
     
    You know what I think? I think that someone has removed all the keys on the keyboard of the guy/gal who compiles this report for BLS. Did you notice that only three numbers (besides zero) are used? The have a choice of either 5, 2, or 9. They didn't use any others. 529, 592, 552. Or maybe those are their favorite numbers. Which ever it is, I think they need to apply the imagination and creativity used in the wording spin to the numbers as well. After all, we expected greater diversity under this Administration.
    19 Nov 2009, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (3971) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Mark - - -

     

    Are you suggesting they need a random number generator? Others have suggested that is what they use. In that case the existence of only three digits in this report may be a 2 sigma event. (Please, no attacks - this is a facetious remark.)

     

    On Nov 19 09:44 AM Mark Bern wrote:

     

    > You know what I think? I think that someone has removed all the keys
    > on the keyboard of the guy/gal who compiles this report for BLS.
    > Did you notice that only three numbers (besides zero) are used? The
    > have a choice of either 5, 2, or 9. They didn't use any others. 529,
    > 592, 552. Or maybe those are their favorite numbers. Which ever it
    > is, I think they need to apply the imagination and creativity used
    > in the wording spin to the numbers as well. After all, we expected
    > greater diversity under this Administration.
    19 Nov 2009, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4771) | Send Message
     
    John - As was mine!
    19 Nov 2009, 11:07 AM Reply Like
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