Economic News: U.S. Homebuilding Rebounds Slightly

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After two straight months of declines, U.S. home building rebounded in September, mostly due to an increase in multifamily units, while single family units — a bellwether for the pool and spa industry — remained at previous levels.

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday, housing starts rose 6.5% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million in September. An 18.3% surge in multifamily units, which include apartments and condominiums, led the increase, while starts of single-family homes, which make up nearly two-thirds of the market, barely budged, rising just 0.3% to a annually adjusted rate of 740,000.

Although overall the home-building building market remains relatively quiescent by historical standards, this latest data suggests the market may be firming up from recent monthly declines.

Meanwhile, The Conference Board's Index of leading economic indicators declined 0.2 percent in September, suggesting an economy pausing due to conflicting factors.

“Despite September’s decline, the U.S. LEI still suggests economic expansion will continue, although at a moderate pace,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The recent weakness in stock markets, the manufacturing sector and housing permits was offset by gains in financial indicators, and to a lesser extent improvements in consumer expectations and initial claims for unemployment insurance. The U.S. economy is on track for moderate growth of about 2.5 percent in the coming quarters, despite the mixed global economic landscape.”

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