According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, new building permits for private homes in August was at an annual rate of 1.139 million on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This was 2.3% below the August 2015 level of 1.166 million. This data was 0.4% below the July revised rate of 1.144 million (from 1.152 million) and below the 1.17 million analyst were looking for, according to a Thomson Reuters Survey.The number of new privately-owned housing starts was at pace of 1.142 million annually on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 5.8% below the July revised data of 1.122 million (from 1.121 million). From a year ago, the rate of housing rates for August was 0.9% higher.The number of completions for privately-owned homes in August was at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.043 million, an increase of 3.4% from the July rate of 1.08 million and 8.3% higher than the August 2015 rate of 963k.
The US dollar had a knee-jerk reaction to the news. The ICE US Dollar Index is currently edging higher on the day by 6 bps to 95.90. December gold future are unchanged at $1,317 per ounce. US Index futures are indicating a stronger open; S&P 500 futures are trading up 8 points, or 0.38%, to 2,141. Today is the beginning of a two-day FOMC meeting. Tomorrow, the committee will announce its decision on rates and outlook at 14:00 GMT.
Despite two months of declines, sales remain near the post-crisis highs.
The dollar gained in Asian trading on Friday but was on track to end a
tumultuous week with losses after the Federal Reserve trimmed its
long-term interest rate expectations and the Bank of Japan rebooted its
monetary policy framework.
The dollar was up 0.4 percent at 101.09 yen , pulling away from a nearly four-week low of 100.10 touched overnight, though still poised to shed 1.1 percent for the week.
in Tokyo reopened after a public holiday on Thursday, and digested
Wednesday's news that the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates
unchanged but signaled it could still tighten monetary policy by the end
of this year.
The U.S. central bank also projected a less
aggressive rise in interest rates next year and in 2018, and it cut its
longer-run interest rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent.
on Wednesday, ahead of the holiday, the BOJ shifted to targeting
interest rates on Japanese government bonds as the focus of its massive
monetary easing program, dropping its explicit target of increasing base
The BOJ's announcement initially sent the dollar up more
than 1 percent to 102.79 yen, though the gains unraveled as investors
realized that the overall market impact was far from obvious.
build-up to Wednesday was large, with lots of anticipation, but
everyone kind of walked away scratching their heads," said Bart
Wakabayashi, head of Hong Kong FX sales at State Street Global Markets.
defaulting to the levels where the market is comfortable. There wasn't
enough to energize the dollar through 100 yen, or 103," he said.
analysts took heart at the fact that the dollar was able to pull itself
off its overnight session lows above the 100-yen level, which remains a
key technical point.
According to preliminary data, in September US manufacturing
production slowed from August, but remained in growth territory. The
Markit Manufacturing PMI Index fell to 51.4 from 52 the month prior.
This reading was worse than the analyst consensus estimate of 51.9,
according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Manufacturers are experiencing the slowest rise in new business
intakes thus far this year, according to Markit. A weaker rate of output
and softer business growth were cited as the largest contributing
factors to a slower PMI reading. The latest growth in manufacturing
production was the weakest for three months. Participants in the survey
indicated that the overall soft economy “acted as a brake” on new order
volumes. A stronger dollar was said to weigh on export sales as well.
New work in the sector climbed at the slowest rate since December 2015.
On the bright side, the creation of new jobs rebounded after hitting a
4-month low in August. Purchasing activity gained further traction in
September, making for the fifth month in a row of sustained growth.
Input cost inflation continues to be subdued looking out over the
entire manufacturing sector. Over the past six months, input prices have
increased each month, however, the rate of increase was the weakest
during that stretch. Low cost inflation and strong competition for new
work caused manufacturers to reduce output charges.
Markit Senior Economist, Tim Moore said, “September’s survey data
points to a sustained upturn in manufacturing production, although
growth remains subdued overall and only slightly faster than seen
through the first half of 2016. However, manufacturers reported firmer
job hiring than one month previously and input price inflation nudged
upwards, meaning that the weaker headline PMI figure is unlikely to
dampen expectations that the Fed will tighten policy at the end of the
During August, the number of new single-family homes sold in the US
fell 7.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 609,000. The weak
August data comes after a strong July where a 13.8% rise was
experienced. The July figured was revised higher to an annualized rate
of 659,000 new homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the
original estimate of 654,000.
Despite the weakness in August, new home sales have grown 20.6% when compared to the same month a year-ago.
Analyst on average were expecting a larger decline of 8.6% to an annualized pace of 600,000, according to Thomson Reuters.
The median sales price of new homes sold in August was $284,000,
while the average sales price was $353,600. The seasonally adjusted
estimate of new homes for sale at the end of the reported month was
235,000, representing a supply of 4.6 months at the current rate of
sales. The number of homes for sale which had not started construction
was 44,000; under construction was 132,000; while those completed was
There was no regional data available at the time of the release by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The first release was last week with the starts, which came in below expectations (1.190m) and July (1.212m) at 1.142m.
Less than expected but focus on US GDP data and it's giving the greenback a lift.