‘Builders are buoyed by President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, particularly his recent executive order to rescind or revise the waters of the U.S. rule that impacts permitting’. – Granger MacDonald, NAHB
The number of Americans who filed for unemployment insurance last week decreased to 241,000, a survey from the Labor Department revealed on Thursday, following the preceding week’s 243,000 filings. Meanwhile, market analysts anticipated a slight rise to 245,000 during the reported period. The number of new residential building permits issued in February fell 6.2%, the Census Bureau revealed on Thursday. Nevertheless, housing construction advanced 3% and was mainly driven by one-family house applications, whose growth hit a record since September 2007. The spike in construction was mainly attributable to the robust job market and healthier finances. Yet, high mortgage costs and increasing real estate prices remain an issue for potential home buyers. Overall, the situation in the home-building industry remains positive, as the housing market index reached a 12-year high. The diffusion index fell to 32.8 in March, the Philadelphia Fed reported on Thursday. Nonetheless, it remained positive for eight consecutive months. The difference between firms who reported an increase in activity against decrease was 33%. Similarly, the difference between firms reported a rise in employment against unemployment was 17%. So, in general, regional manufacturers maintained optimism.