Jobless claims increase… Housing starts sink further
Initial claims for the week ending Jan. 17 jumped 62,000 to 589,000. That
was worse than the consensus estimate of 543,000 and leaves them at levels last
seen in 1982.
The four-week moving average held steady at 519,250, but that is due to pick
up at the current rate as the sub-500,000 readings seen a few weeks ago get
dropped in due time.
Continuing claims rose 97,000 to 4.607 million, which is a more realistic
condition of the existing labor market than the 102,000 decline reported in the
This report encompasses the week in which the establishment survey for the
employment report is taken. The level of claims suggests we’ll see another
substantive decline in January nonfarm payrolls when they are reported Feb.
Housing Starts Sink Further:
December housing starts totaled 550,000 units on a seasonally adjusted
basis. That marks a 15.5% decline from an upwardly revised rate of 651,000
units November and is the lowest on record, dating back to 1959. Single-family
starts fell 13.5% to an annualized rate of 398,000 units.
Similarly, building permits also hit a new record low of 549,000 on an
annualized basis. Permits were down 10.7% from November.
In terms of starts by region, they declined 24.5% in the Midwest, 22.2% in
the South, and 2.2% in the West. Starts were actually up 12.7% in the
Builders are clearly taking a more conservative approach to starts given the
lack of available credit, abundant supply of existing homes for sale and the
rising rate of foreclosures.
The starts and permits numbers for December are yet more reminders of the
depressed state of the housing market and will factor negatively in GDP
frequents this site and has taken the CC.
Schumer has never seen the CC.
By Brendan Murray
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — Timothy Geithner,
President Barack Obama’s nominee
to be Treasury secretary, said the administration has “no current plans” to
request more financial bailout funds and he played down any need to nationalize
“We have no current plans to request further resources,” Geithner said in
written responses to the Senate Finance Committee. “However, if we determine
that further resources may become necessary, we will be clear with the Congress
as to why these resources are necessary.”
The Treasury nominee also said that Obama believes China, the second-biggest
U.S. trading partner, is “manipulating” its exchange rate. While that’s a break
from the previous administration, it was unclear whether Obama’s team will
pursue a different approach to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s push
for a market-set yuan.
Asked whether nationalizing banks is needed to rescue the economy, Geithner
responded that “the best outcome for the economy is a financial system that
resides in private hands.” He added that “we nonetheless face a situation in
which the U.S. government is currently providing extraordinary support” to
prevent a “catastrophic collapse in the functioning of the system and in the
flow of credit to households and businesses.”
The administration will seek to replace government capital “as quickly as
possible,” he said.