Today's Events: Housing Starts, Jobless Claims, PPI And Philly Fed

Busy day in the economic headlines arena, with Housing Start, Claims PPI and Philly Fed all on deck. Goldman summarizes the expectations and the upwardly biased consensus.

8:30: Housing starts (January): Rebound. Housing starts likely rebounded in January for two reasons. First, single-family building activity has been steadily improving, and that seems likely to have continued. The better-than-expected homebuilder sentiment index yesterday may suggest upside risks to our forecasts for this component. Second, multi-family housing starts declined by 20% in December, and this sharp drop should at least partially reverse.

Starts: GS: +7.0%; Consensus: +2.7%; Last -4.1%.
Permits: Consensus: +1.3%; Last -1.3%.

8:30: Jobless claims (Week of February 11): Small backup. Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits have steadily improved over the last several months. The four-week moving average reached a new recovery low of 366k last week. For this week’s report, the consensus expects a small backup to 365k from 358k previously.
Consensus: 365,000; Last: 358,000.

8:30: Producer Price Index (January): Moderate growth. Goldman forecasts that the January Producer Price Index (PPI) increased by 0.2% (month-over-month), with moderate gains in both the core and non-core (food and energy) components.
PPI: GS: +0.2%; Consensus: +0.4%; Last -0.1%.
Core PPI: GS: +0.1%; Consensus: +0.2%; Last +0.3%.

9:00: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on community banking. Q&A unlikely.

10:00: Philadelphia Fed index (February): Steady. GS forecasts that the Philadelphia Fed index was about unchanged in February, holding at a level consistent with about 2.5-3.0% GDP growth. The better-than-expected Empire State manufacturing index reported earlier in the week may point to upside risks.
GS: +7.5; Consensus: +9.0; Last +7.3.

Source: GS