U.S. Building Permits

seboldadminEconomic Insights

US Building Permits since 2000US Building Permits, as defined by the Census Bureau, is the approval or authorization by the government to legally work on construction projects in permit-issuing places, in this case, specifically for new privately-owned housing units. An increase in building permits is a leading indicator of the health of the US Housing sector, and often the US economy at large.

US Building Permits is at a current level of 1.353M, down from 1.452M last month and up from 1.288M one year ago. This is a change of -6.82% from last month and 5.05% from one year ago.

The March report of 1.353M was 1,300 thousand above market expectations. This is still one of the sharpest drops in building permits since July 2015. The mass drop in building permits is attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, which has hurt the construction sector. Across all regions, permits have declined largely in the West and Midwest, which have fallen by -10.5% and -12.7%. The South and Northeast regions have also experienced declines of -3.1% and -7.6%. The decline in housing permits reflects weakness in the U.S. economy as planned construction has slowed. This trend will likely continue as we see the full effect of the national pandemic in the report for April.

US Building Permits

April 17, 2020