Housing Starts in February decreased by 5.9% to an annual pace of 575,000, beating the expected decrease to 570,000, from the revised figure of 611,000 in January (originally reported at 591,000). Over the year the figure has increased by 0.2% from the February 2009 rate of 574,000. Building Permits decreased by 1.6%, over the month to 612,000, more than the expected decrease to 593,000, following 622,000 permits annualized in January. Over the year, Building Permits increased by 11.3% from the 550,000 pace in February 2009.
The FOMC Policy Statement will be released today at 2:15 PM EST, which will conclude the 2 day meeting of the Board of Governors. The topic for discussion is the Fed’s Beige Book, which indicated that while economic conditions continued to improve since the last report, severe snowstorms in early February held back activity in several districts. Nine of the twelve districts noted some increased activity but in most cases the increases were modest. In the last policy statement released on January 27, the FOMC had decided to maintain the federal funds target rate within a range of 0 to 0.25%.
FOMC Policy Statement (03/16 at 2:15 PM EST)
PPI (03/17 at 8:30 AM EST)
Crude Inventories (03/17 at 10:30 AM EST)
CPI (03/17 at 8:30 AM EST)