Sunday, September 20, 2015

Housing permits: the surge reappears

 - by New Deal democrat

On Thursday I wrote that I had a bone to pick with the Census Bureau because of some major unexplained revisions to housing permits that made a year of growth, including a huge spike in May and June disappear.

Here's the FRED chart showing that (permits in red):

Well, an hour and a half after my post, the FRED data was revised.  Here's what it looks like now.  I've kept the screenshot to show the time of revision:

Here is the bar graph of revisions of the last year's data.  The first is from Thursday morning.  The second is from Thursday afternoon:

I haven't seen any correction or other note on either the Census Bureau or the FRED site, so I don't know where it originated.

I'm gratified that the corrected information shows new highs in permits, and that August is still higher than any other month except for the May-June spike.  Along with real retail sales per capita and real money supply, this is why I am increasingly confident that our economic expansion will continue through the third quarter of next year.
I just wish there would be more transparency when an error like this happens.