Content about U.S. Census Bureau

April 18, 2014

With the buying season just around the corner, the National Association of Home Builders has studied the March housing starts data and sees improving signals.

Led by a 6% rise in single-family starts, nationwide housing production rose 2.8% above an upwardly revised February rate of 920,000 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 units in March, according to the figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

April 16, 2014

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, housing starts failed to break the million mark again in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

March's rate is 2.8% above the upwardly revised February estimate of 920,000 -- a 1.9% rise instead of the initially reported 0.2% decline -- but 5.9% below year-ago levels of 1,005,000.

Single-family housing starts came in at a  rate of 635,000, which is 6.0% above the revised February estimate of 599,000.

April 14, 2014

U.S. retail sales increased 1.1% in March, the biggest month-over-month gain since September 2012 and a long-awaited sign of an economic thaw after an especially challenging winter.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, advance estimates of retail and food services sales for March, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences (but not for price changes) were $433.9 billion. This is a 3.8% improvement above March 2013.

Retail trade sales themselves were up 1.1% from February and 3.7% from last year.

March 18, 2014

At 0.2% below the upwardly revised January estimate of 909,000, housing starts came in at a relatively weak pace in February, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. However, building permits were 7.7% above last month's rate.

February's housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 907,000, that's 6.4% below February 2013's rate of 969,000.

February 27, 2014

Sales of new single-family houses in January increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The rate represents a 9.6% increase over the revised December rate of 427,000, and 2.2% above the January 2013 estimate of 458,000.

The data follows shortly after the bureau reported a 16% decline in total housing starts for the month of January. 

February 19, 2014

Housing starts declined to a disappointing seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 in January, according to data released Wednesday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The figure marks a 16.0% decline from the upwardly adjusted December pace of 1.048 million starts. It’s also below the year-ago pace by 2.0%. That’s the first year-over-year decline in the pace of starts since August 2011. 

February 13, 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau released its monthly retail and food services sales report Thursday, which pointed to a slight setback of 0.4% for the month but a 2.6% gain over January of last year.

Weather was partly to blame for the dip, according to the National Retail Federation.

At $427.8 billion, total sales for the month fell below December's, which also received a downward revision from 0.2% above November sales to 0.1% below month-ago figures.

January 17, 2014

After experiencing substantial growth in the fall to their highest level all year, housing starts fell a little anticlimactically in December, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. However, at their third-highest level for the year, they still exceeded economists' expectations.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, they were 9.8% below the revised November estimate of 1.11 million, though this was a 1.6% improvement over December 2012.

 Similarly, single-family housing starts came in at 667,000, which was 7.0% below the revised November figure of 717,000.

January 14, 2014

December retail and food service sales rose by 0.2% above the previous month and 4.1% above December 2012, according to advance estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Clocking in at a total figure of $431.9 billion for the month, December's year-over-year sales performance mirrored that of the larger 12-month period of 2013, which marked a 4.2% improvement over the year of 2012.

Similarly, retail trade sales were up 0.2% from November and 4.0% year-over-year.

December 30, 2013

Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000 units in November from an upwardly revised strong pace of 474,000 units in the previous month, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the strongest sales pace since July 2008, except for October 2013. 

December 18, 2013

After a seemingly never-ending delay, the U.S. Census Bureau has at long last released housing starts data for the months of September, October and November; the results are way above previous estimates and mark a nearly six-year high for the metric.

Privately owned November housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million, or 22.7% above the revised October estimate of 889,000 and 29.6% above year-ago figures of 842,000.

December 5, 2013

The Census Bureau's delayed report on new housing sales was released yesterday, and it was worth the wait.

Sales of new single-family houses in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000. That was better than analyst forecasts of 425,000 and up 25.4% from the September rate of 354,000. 

Compared with October 2012, yesterday's data shows new home sales up 21.6%. 

November 26, 2013

After a delay of several weeks in the aftermath of the government shutdown, the U.S. Census Bureau has finally released building permits data for September and October -- both show strong growth.

However, an accurate count of housing starts will be further delayed until Dec 18.

November 20, 2013

Advance estimates for retail and food service sales came in at $428.1 billion for the month of October, a larger-than-expected increase of 0.4%, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. September sales also enjoyed an upwardly revised boost from -0.1% to an increase of 0.5%.

Retail trade sales largely mirrored that of total retail and food service sales, both of which were up 3.9% over last year.

November 1, 2013

In the aftermath of October's government shutdown, housing starts remain the only piece of data that has yet to be released after the initial delay.

Rather than postpone September's housing starts data a couple weeks, the U.S. Census Bureau will release figures concurrently for September and October on Nov. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

October 29, 2013

After a nearly three-week delay, the U.S. Census Bureau has released the advance monthly sales report for September. Overall, retail sales were down 0.1% from July at $425.9 billion, but were still 3.2% above year-ago figures.

For building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444), the unadjusted net for September was approximately $25.1 million, down from August's $26.9 million. Consistent with overall progress for the retail trade, September's figures increased over those of last year, which came in at $23.3 million.

September 19, 2013

While housing starts for August again failed to rise above the 900,000 pace, the National Association of Home Builders celebrated the gain in single-family starts.

September 18, 2013

Housing starts data released Wednesday morning shows a lull in housing construction, as the pace of residential construction showed a less-than-1% gain in August. 

The official seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts in August was 891,000, up 0.9% above the downwardly revised July estimate of 883,000. Total housing starts are up 19.0% compared to the August 2012 rate.

Analysts had expected total starts to comfortably exceed the 900,000 mark.

September 13, 2013

Advance adjusted estimates of August retail and food service sales came in at $426.6 billion, up 0.2% from July and 4.7% above Aug. 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Specifically, retail trade sales matched overall figures with a 0.2% increase over July and a 4.8% gain year-over-year.

August 23, 2013

Sales of new single-family houses in July 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 13.4% below the revised June rate of 455,000, but is 6.8% above the July 2012 estimate of 369,000.

August 16, 2013

The pace of the nation’s housing starts turned in a positive direction in July, although the figure landed well below the million mark reached in March.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Friday morning shows housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000. That’s up 5.9% from the upwardly revised estimate of 846,000 in June.

August 13, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced July sales for the retail trade were up 0.1% compared to June 2013, bringing the adjusted estimate to $378.7 billion.

Sales for businesses described as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444) were an estimated $25.8 billion in the month of July, down 0.4% from last month, but up 7.9% from the year-ago month. 

July 30, 2013

After nearly three months of weak pricing in North American lumber markets, there is evidence that many of those prices have reached a bottom. Structural panel prices are also showing greater resilience and increasing in some instances. The ride down took a lot longer than most traders had anticipated. This proved costly to many wholesalers who, back in April and May, believed a short-lived decline followed by a bounce in prices was a more likely scenario.

July 15, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau reported retail trade sales increased 0.6% in June, compared May.

Sales were up 6.0% when compared to June 2012.

The figures were released Monday morning and are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.  The figures exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants. 

June 13, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Thursday that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $421.1 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and 4.3% above May 2012.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers -- NAICS code 444 companies -- were up 10.1% from last year. The sector’s adjusted sales were $26.387 billion, up from $26.158 billion in April.