Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Look Ahead: Housing Starts, Industrial Production, Mortgage Delinquencies, FOMC Minutes

by Calculated Risk on 5/15/2012 09:16:00 PM

Wednesday will be another busy day:

• Housing starts for April will be released at 8:30 AM. Total housing starts were at 654,000 in March, on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and single-family starts were at 462,000. This was a decline from the February rate, but most of the decline was related to the volatile multi-family sector. Based on housing permits, starts probably rebounded in April. The consensus is for total housing starts to increase to 690,000 (SAAR) in April.

• At 9:15 AM, the Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for April. The consensus is for a 0.5% increase in Industrial Production in April, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 79.0% (from 78.6%).

• At 10:00 AM, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is scheduled to release the 1st Quarter 2012 National Delinquency Survey (NDS). This provides a breakdown of mortgage delinquencies by number of days delinquent, type of loan, and by state. Since the mortgage settlement was signed off on April 5th, there probably wasn't any impact on Q1 delinquencies. I'll be on the conference call at 10:30 AM and pass along any comments about the settlement, HARP, house prices, etc.

• At 2 PM, the FOMC Minutes for the meeting of April 24-25 will be released. From Goldman Sachs on things to look for:

We expect that the April FOMC minutes ... will include a discussion of possible easing options. ... The first set of options center around the Fed's balance sheet, and we think that the discussion might include the benefits of mortgage purchases, the potential for more “twisting,” and the pros and cons of sterilized asset purchases.
• Also on Wednesday, the MBA will release the weekly mortgage applications survey, and the AIA will release the Architecture Billings Index for April (a leading indicator for commercial real estate).

For the monthly economic question contest: