Here are some economic nuggets from the past two weeks’ news headlines and industry publications.

     
  1. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised up its estimate of third quarter real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 2.7% (SAAR) from its preliminary estimate of 2.0%, based on more complete data.

  2. The upward revision was largely the result of greater inventory accumulation and improvements in net exports. Growth in other components such as personal consumption expenditures and investment in equipment and software were revised down. The rise in inventories will act as a drag on fourth quarter GDP as businesses adjust their inventory levels to be more in line with sales.

  3. Investment in nonresidential structures decreased 1.1%, but the decrease was much better than the original estimate of a 4.4% plunge. The decrease reduced the negative impact on real GDP growth from slower nonresidential construction activity by 0.1%.

  4. After advancing strongly in September (up 10.6%), October’s single-family housing starts were essentially flat at 594,000 (SAAR) from September’s 595,000. Year-to-date not seasonally adjusted (NSA) single-family starts were 24.8% higher, compared to the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, single-family housing permits increased 2.2% to 562,000 for the month, after jumping 7.6% in September, and were up 22.2% on a year-to-date basis.

  5. October new single-family home sales were also virtually unchanged (down 0.3%) at 368,000 (SAAR) from September’s 369,000. Year-to-date NSA sales were 20.9% higher compared to the same period in 2011.

  6. The 10-city and 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price indexes continue to rise,  posting their eighth consecutive monthly increase. The September 10-city index was up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, and the 20-city index was up 0.4%.  On a year-over-year NSA basis, the 10-city index increased 2.1%, and the 20-city index increased 3.0%. Home prices for only one of the 20 cities fell in September—Chicago home prices were down 0.7%. All but two cities were higher on a year-over-year basis—Chicago was down 1.5% and New York City was down 2.3%.

  7. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for November jumped five points to 46,  the seventh consecutive monthly increase. The index is at its highest level since May 2006, adding to the positive outlook for housing. 

  8. Multifamily housing starts shot up 11.9% to 300,000 (SAAR) in October after skyrocketing 26.4%  in September. The 3-month moving average, which provides a better picture of multifamily starts’ underlying trend by evening out some of the normal month-to-month variations, was up 11.1% to 260,000—its highest level since September 2008. Year-to-date NSA starts were up 37.0% from the same period last year.

  9. The October 3-month moving average of multifamily building permits advanced 0.4% to 311,000. Year-to-date NSA permits were 45.1% higher than their 2011 average.

  10. For the fifth consecutive month, the AIA Billings Index increased, rising to 52.8 in October from September’s 51.6. The increase marked the third month in a row that the measure was back above 50. An index higher than 50 is an indicator of increased billings.

  11. The October Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods slipped 0.2% (SA) after rising 1.1%  in September. The modest decline is largely due to energy prices easing a bit. On a year-over-year NSA basis, the index was up 2.3%.

  12. A price index for inputs used in nonresidential construction, excluding capital equipment, fell 0.5% (NSA) in October after rising 1.2% in September. The index was 1.8% higher than it was in October 2011.

  13. The October Consumer Price Index (CPI) inched up 0.1% after increasing 0.6% in September. The CPI was 2.2% (NSA) higher than October of last year. Core CPI (which excludes food and energy prices) edged 0.2% higher and was up 2.0% (NSA) from October 2011.