Up more than expected, etc.

But interesting that November housing starts were reported lower when the national headline number was up 22%:


Most economic data have been turning higher, reflected in the national activity index which jumped to plus 0.60 in November from an upwardly revised minus 0.07 in October. The 3-month average is also rising, to plus 0.25 in November vs an upwardly revised plus 0.12 in October. Readings in the plus column indicate that the economy is growing above its historical trend.

The employment component added 0.28 to the index after subtracting 0.05 in October. The gain reflects the 3 tenths decline in the employment rate to 7.0 percent and the 3,000 rise in non-farm payroll growth to 203,000. But it also reflects a roughly 25,000 improvement in initial jobless claims, an improvement however that reflects special problems in October with the government shutdown and counting problems in California.

The production component contributed the most to the index in November, at plus 0.39 as industrial production rose and capacity utilization went up. The sales/orders/inventories component also contributed to the index, but just barely at plus 0.06 vs plus 0.04 in October.

Consumption & housing was the only component subtracting from the index, at minus 0.12 vs October’s minus 0.13. The main factors here were declines in both housing starts and housing permits.