If there was bad news yesterday in the further increase of initial jobless claims, there was also good news in the 10+ year highs in new housing permits.
Here’s the graph of permits (blue), single-family permits (red, right scale), and housing starts (green):
Not only total permits but also the much less noisy single-family permits made 13-year highs. While the much noisier starts didn’t, the only months in the past 13 years that were better were last December through this February.
Because housing construction involves spending on all sorts of trades in the following year, and spending on landscaping, appliances, and other furnishings thereafter, new home building is an excellent long leading indicator.
Bottom line: yet more evidence that once the pandemic is brought under control, the economy is primed for a very vigorous takeoff.