Housing Starts, Industrial Production, and Frequent Fliers
Week in Review: Oct. 17-21
Another wild ride in the financial markets, but not an especially busy week for economic data. Still, it all matters . . .
TSA Checkpoint Travel Numbers
On Sunday, October 16, TSA checked in 2.49 million air passengers, the most since February 2020. While Americans are flying a lot more than in 2021, we’re still consistently behind 2019 numbers. One suspects the numbers will get better. I was on an overnight flight from Phoenix to Baltimore and it was packed, and it was a Thursday evening and Southwest (they didn’t even give us peanuts). Holiday travel should be buoyant.
Industrial production increased 0.4% in September and is up 5.3% year over year. The largest increase came in the production of construction materials, which was up 1.1% for the month. While recession looks increasingly likely in 2023, this (and other indicators) is a very clear sign that we aren’t anywhere close to a recession at the moment.
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index
Homebuilder confidence fell for the tenth straight month in October and is now at its lowest level since August 2012 (early pandemic excepted). This, obviously, has everything to do with extremely high mortgage rates, which are now at the precipice of 7% nationally (30-year fixed).
Housing Starts and Building Permits
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