Initial Claims Rise, Housing Starts Drops, NSA Housing Permits At Three Month Low

As has now become the norm, last week's initial claims was revised higher (because no algos care about what the real number was with a one week delay) from 361K to 366K (see chart below of cumulative impact when incorporating the next week revision), even as this week saw a modest miss at 366K on expectations of 365K. This "modest" 1K miss will be revised to a 4K miss next week. And while continuing claims also missed expectations by 5K, printing at 3,305K, it was the cliff of extended benefits that continues to bite, with another 64K people no longer collecting Uncle Sam's 99 week free dole in the week ended July 28. This brings the last two weeks' total to nearly 200K: unless this handout was replaced by disability payments, the hit to GDP will be material.

Americans on Extended Claims (EUC):

The pre-post revision cumulative divergence, courtesy of John Lohman. No comment necessary.

Elsewhere, in the housing arena, Housing Starts missed expectations of a 756K print, dropping to 746K instead, from a downward revised 754K (was 760K). In fact, single family starts dropped to 502K, the lowest in 4 months, and below the 520K in December of 2011. Not even the scramble for multi-family units, which rose to 229K could offset this.

The market however, is transfixed by the silver lining in today's housing data: Housing Permits which are about as credible as a Jefferies "Highly confident letter" which "soared" from 760K to 812K, the highest since August 2008. What is funny is that just like retail sales, if one actually pulls the unadjusted data, one would see the following sequence of Permits data: 75.4K; 73.8K; 72.2K. Not seasonally adjusted permits just hit a 3 month low.


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