What's Wrong With These Two Charts

Tyler Durden's picture

By now the weather apologists will have let you know that the latest economic data disappointment - housing starts and permits - both of which crashed in January, is solely due to the weather (the same apologists who will tell you that any good news is due only to the "recovery"). Alas, this time even the most cursory glance beneath the headlines reveals just how sad the lies truly are.

Presenting Exhibit A: the all important housing permits, which predate starts by 2-3 months, broken down by region. If indeed the weather was to blame, it would be the region that was hit the worst by the polar vortex, i.e., the Northeast, which would have been most impacted. Instead, we find that the one region where the 'weather impact" was double that of the Northeast, was the West, i.e., California, where balmy weather resulted in a seasonally adjusted permits crash of 26%!

 

 

Next, Exhibit B: Housing starts broken down by region. Same logic - if it was indeed the snow's fault that activity ground to a halt, the Northeast region would have cratered (and other regions would have flatlined at worst). Instead, we get this:

 

It is almost as if nobody even wants to put any effort into the lies anymore.