- Building Permits for May fell to 2050K versus estimates of 2109K and 2148K in April.
- Initial Jobless Claims for last week rose to 333K versus estimates of 330K and 332K the prior week.
- Continuing Claims rose to 2641K versus estimates of 2587K and 2583K prior.
BOTTOM LINE: US housing starts rose .2% in May to the best pace since February as low interest rates and job growth continued to fuel demand. These numbers reinforce the view that this will be the best year for homebuilding since 1978 and the best year ever for home sales. Starts increased in all regions but the South, where they fell 12%. US home sales will top 8 million this year, the fifth consecutive record.
The four-week moving-average of jobless claims rose to 335,000 from 332,250. Jobless claims fell to an average of about 328,000 this year from 343,000 for all of last year. The four-week moving-average of continuing claims rose to 2.597 million from 2.585 million. The insured unemployment rate rose to 2.1% in the week from 2% the week before. Employers have added jobs at a monthly rate of about 180,000 this year, compared with a monthly average of 183,000 for all of last year. The economy generated 2.2 million new jobs last year, the most in five years.