This day one month ago, our chart of the day was the spread between adjusted and unadjusted Housing Starts number, which as we showed back then, had a very curious surge in starts on a seasonally adjusted basis at some 103K, even as unadjusted starts dropped. Today, housing starts are finally return back to reality, as the adjusted number printed at 890K, below expectations of a 920K number, with the prior pushed even higher from 954K to 973K. Yet as last month, it was the unadjusted number that was indicative of reality, and at 58.5K housing starts, this was the weakest actual, un-SAARed number since March 2012, when it was 58.0K. Only difference: back in March 2012, the Adjusted Starts number was 706K, or 184K less than today. Today's unadjusted number is also lower than it was in June 2011 when it printed 60.5K, and when the adjusted print was, drumroll, 615K or 275K less than today! Thank you seasonal adjustments.
As for that even more amazing December calendar adjustment following today's upward revised December Starts data, here is how it looks in the context of the same data from 2011 and 2010. Fully retarded.
Somehow, we get the impression they are not even trying any more.