A number of stories just out:
Housing slump to take toll on economy,
The U.S. housing market’s slump is taking a toll on the U.S. economy and should continue to slow economic growth well into 2007.
U.S. construction spending fell an 0.3 percent in September, with private residential building dropping for a sixth straight month, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
“We expect the housing market correction has a ways to go, and should continue to detract from economic growth all the way through the end of next year,” said Gina Martin, financial economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Weakness in the U.S. housing market could be turning the hoped-for soft landing for the economy into something a bit harder to deal with. Data released on Wednesday showed conditions in the housing market deteriorated in September, extending a slide that began early this year.
… The U.S. Commerce Department said housing starts fell for the sixth month in a row in September, and spending on all types of construction declined 0.3% following a flat August. Private home construction dropped 1.1% in September after falling 1.6% in August.
Why is Sonders worried now? Just look at the chart. Over the past year, the NAHB housing index plummeted 54 percent. Were stocks to follow suit, the S&P – 1400 in late October – would be trading below 700 this time next year.
U.S. manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace in more than three years, and construction spending declined as housing continued to suffer through its longest stretch of weakness since 1995.
Two reports released Wednesday depicted an economy beginning to feel the impact of the sharp slump in the once-booming housing sector.
Denver: Housing market remains in a slump,
A sluggish market led to a dip in Denver metro-area housing starts during the third quarter of 2006, according to a report by Metrostudy’s Denver division.
Denver area third-quarter housing starts fell 22 percent from the same period last year, from 4,889 new homes to 3,830. The year-to-date rate through the third quarter declined 3 percent, from 19,568 in 2005 to 18,908 in 2006.