Building permits have another slow month in June
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,220,000, -6.1% below the revised May rate of 1,299,000 and -6.6% below the June 2018 rate of 1,306,000.
Single‐family authorizations in June were at a rate of 813,000, +0.4% above the revised May figure of 810,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 360,000 in June.
NAHB’s Robert Dietz said that although single-family permits are down 6.1% on a year-to-date basis, NAHB “expects additional single-family growth, as areas beyond the exurbs respond to for-sale housing demand and ongoing healthy labor markets.”
PMI stays on downward trajectory
The Purchasing Managers Index slid again in June, barely remaining in growth territory with a 51.7 percent reading for the month, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from the May reading of 52.1%.
The Tempe, AZ-based Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said it was the third straight month with slowing PMI expansion. Any reading over 50 points indicates a bullish trend. The PMI relies on a monthly survey of industrial purchasing managers.
Architecture Billings Index for June reflects soft demand in billings and inquiries
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June was 49.1 points, which is down from 50.2 points in May. Published monthly by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington, DC, any score in the ABI below 50 points indicates a decrease in billings. Both the project inquiries index and the design contracts index continued to soften in June but remained positive.
“With billings declining or flat for the last five months, it appears that we are settling in for a period of soft demand for design services,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “With the new design contracts score reaching a 10-month low and the project inquiries score hitting a 10-year low, work in the pipeline may start to get worked off, despite current robust backlogs.”