Announced this morning, Housing Starts fell 11.2% in December, much more than expected, driven by decreases in both multi‐family and single‐family homes. While only a small portion of GDP, less than 4%, housing can be a precursor to the direction of economic growth. When coupled with the recent weak Retail Sales report for December, the data suggests December was difficult for the economy, likely impacted some by weather and the government shutdown. Meanwhile, Jerome Powell is set to speak to the Senate Banking Committee today as part of his regular testimony on monetary policy. He is expected to reiterate patience in managing policy in the months ahead. In all, equity futures and bond yields are lower heading into the market open.
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