Did you catch the sleight-of-hand? The previous housing starts number (for June) was originally above the current July number. So housing starts are actually down from what, until today, we all thought the June number was. The only reason they can be said to be "up" is because the June number has been revised down even lower! ZeroHedge has coverage of the distortions in... coverage:

... housing starts of 546k came in well below expectations of 560k. And in keeping with tradition, the US government once again revised the prior period data, to make today's print seem like an improvement: the previous reading of 549k was revised to 537k.

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