No. 971: Construction and Housing Markets, Durable Goods Orders, GDP and Underlying Reality

(SGS Subscription required) • Second-Half 2018 Economic Growth Prospects Are on the Wane, With Third-Quarter Real Merchandise Trade Deficit Headed for a Record Shortfall
• August Private Labor-Market Surveying Showed Some Pickup
• Federal Reserve Tightening Hits the Consumer Hard, Threatening Any Nascent, Broad Economic Upturn
• Total August Real Construction Spending, Residential and Nonresidential, Fell for Third Straight Month; Private Spending Down, Government Spending Up
• Clobbered by Intensifying Consumer Liquidity Troubles, All Major Residential-Construction and Home-Sales Indicators in August Held in Deepening, Six-Month Moving-Average Downtrends
• Residential Sales and Construction Held Shy of Recovering Pre-Recession Peaks: Existing-Home Sales by 26.5% (-26.5%), New-Home Sales by 54.7% (-54.7%), Building Permits by 45.7% (-45.7%) and Housing Starts by 43.6% (-43.6%)
• Ex-Defense and Commercial Aircraft, August Real Durable Goods Orders Fell by 0.5% (-0.5%); Automobile Orders and Shipments Declined; Growth Driven by Government Spending, Not by the Consumer
• Second-Quarter Real Gross Domestic (GDP) Revised to 4.16% from 4.23%; Purported Equivalent Gross Domestic Income (GDI) Revised to 1.62% from 1.81%
• Real GDP Stood 17.4% Above Its 2007 Pre-Recession Peak, Yet It Held Shy by 5.2% (-5.2%) of that Peak, Corrected for Understated GDP Inflation

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