Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Headline, and Your Challenge

This headline caught my eye in today’s Peninsula:


Why did it catch my eye? I know, I know, I am an unnatural woman. I shouldn’t bother my pretty little head with these things too great for me, but I find the financial pages interesting. You would be amazed at what you can learn in the small print.

So when I saw that headline, I was intrigued, because yesterday the reports coming out remained bleak. Key phrases like “less than expected” jumped out at me.

So here is my challenge to you. Please. Read through this article and tell me if you can find one single fact that supports the promising headline. Honestly, this gave me one of my best laughs of the day.

Get ready. Get set. GO!

US housing sector looks up
Web posted at: 10/21/2009 8:50:58
Source ::: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: New construction of US homes rose less than expected in September as ground-breaking activity for multi-family dwellings fell sharply, highlighting the economy’s uneven recovery path.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday housing starts rose 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units, below market expectations for 610,000. August’s housing starts were revised down to 587,000 units.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed producer prices dropped an unexpected 0.6 percent in September. Analysts had anticipated prices would remain unchanged after rising 1.7 percent in August.

“The housing numbers still look somewhat soft and that’s a reflection of weakness in the consumer. The low PPI numbers mean that the Fed is in a position to keep rates unchanged for a while,” said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates in Toronto.

US stock futures, which were lifted earlier after strong quarterly results from bellwethers Apple and Caterpillar, trimmed their gains on the soft housing and price data.

New construction activity in the volatile multifamily segment dropped 15.2 percent to an annual pace of 89,000 units. Groundbreaking for single-family homes, the largest component of the housing market, rose 3.9 percent in September to an annual rate of 501,000 units.

Compared to September last year, housing starts were down 28.2 percent.

The housing market, the main catalyst of the worst US recession since the 1930s, is crawling out of a three-year slump and residential investment probably contributed to economic growth in the third quarter, according to analysts.

New building permits, which give a sense of future home construction, unexpectedly fell 1.2 percent to an annual pace of 573,000 units in September, the Commerce Department said. That was the biggest percentage decline since April.

Analysts had forecast permits at 600,000 units. Building permits were down 28.9 percent compared to September last year.

A survey on Monday showed confidence among US home builders edged down in October amid worries over the expiration of a $8,000 government tax credit for first-time buyers.

The incentive, which ends next month, has been widely cited as the main force behind the housing market’s steady recovery.

Separately, prices paid at the farm and factory gate fell 4.8 percent on the year, which was steeper than forecasts for a 4.2 percent drop. Excluding food and energy, prices declined by 0.1 percent in September from the prior month, and were up 1.8 percent on the year.

“The headline PPI numbers fuel the deflationary fears,” said Doug Bender, managing director at McQueen, Ball & Associates in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

October 21, 2009 - Posted by | Financial Issues, Humor, News, NonFiction


  1. looool. journalists rarely get to determine the titles of their articles – at least, the journalists I know! The only positive sign I see is the 3.9% increase in ground-breaking for single-family homes, but its drowned out by all the negative indicators as far as I’m concerned.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. I hadn’t thought of that, Little Diamond. Perhaps the one who created the title didn’t really read the story!

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. what it says that the housing market is so bleak that it has no choice but to look up . Ahhhh it is time for you to plan another fun christmas trip to the states under the pretext of checking out the housing market .

    But seriously it seems the turn around in the economy is gathering pace . Maybe it is the right time to buy your American Palace at knock down prices .

    Comment by daggero | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  4. I think daggero is right! What they probably meant is that things could not be any worse, so they must be looking up 😛

    Comment by kinano | October 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. It won’t be Christmas, Daggero, but we have a sweet grandson arriving in our forseeable future, around the time we expect the market to bottom out . . . and we are looking. 🙂

    Kinano – actually, there are a lot of signs things are turning around, but it is a process, and a slow one. Once things turn, the upswing will go faster, I hope.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] Read the rest here: A Headline, and Your Challenge « Here There and Everywhere […]

    Pingback by A Headline, and Your Challenge « Here There and Everywhere | Kuwait today | October 31, 2009 | Reply

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