MADRID | The Corner | After two months of decline, US construction rebounds in July at the fastest pace in eight months. As the Commerce Department reported yesterday, the number of housing starts rose 15.7% in July compared to June, reaching an annualized figure of 1.09 million units, the highest in eight months. Meanwhile, applications for building permits in the same month also advanced 8.1% to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after drops of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May. Notably the permits to build single-family homes, a segment that accounts for three quarters of the U.S. housing market, increased in July by 0.9% to an annualized figure of 640,000, the highest since December 2013. In addition, permits for units in buildings with five units or more rose 23.6% in July to an annual rate of 382,000, representing its highest growth rate since January 2006.
MADRID | The Corner | From the macroeconomic side, US data are showing a clear improvement in the economy, with the labor market growing at similar rates to those seen prior to the financial crisis and consumer confidence surging in July to the highest level since October 2007. The business results also show a positive trend with growth in earnings by 12.0% (ex-financials) and +10.0% inc. financials.