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Census Bureau - Economic Indicators

Construction Spending

Total construction activity for March 2017 ($1,218.3 billion) was 0.2 percent (+/-2.1%)* below the revised February 2017 ($1,220.7 billion).


March 2017: -0.2* % change
February 2017 (r): +1.8* % change

Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in the first quarter 2017, 7.0 percent, was virtually unchanged from the first quarter 2016 rate. The rental vacancy rates in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West were not statistically different from the rates in the first quarter 2016.


1st Qtr 2017: +7.0* percent
1st Qtr 2016: +7.0 percent

Homeownership Rate

The homeownership rate in the first quarter 2017, 63.6 percent, was not statistically different from the first quarter 2016 rate of 63.5 percent. The homeownership rate in the Midwest was lower than the first quarter 2016 rate, while the rates in the Northeast, South and West were not statistically different from the rates in the first quarter 2016.


1st Qtr 2017: +63.6* percent
1st Qtr 2016: +63.5 percent

Advance Monthly Wholesale Inventories

March end-of-month inventories were $592.8 billion, down 0.1 percent (+/- 0.4 percent)* from last month.


March 2017: -0.1* % change in Inventories
February 2017 (r): +0.2* % change in Inventories

Advance U.S. International Trade in Goods

The advance international trade deficit in goods increased to $64.8 billion in March from $63.9 billion in February as exports decreased more than imports.


March 2017: 64.8° $ billion
February 2017: 63.9° $ billion

Advance Monthly Retail Inventories

March 2017 end-of-month inventories were $616.6 billion, up 0.4 percent (+/- 0.2%) from last month.


March 2017: +0.4 % change in Inventories
February 2017 (r): +0.4 % change in Inventories

New Residential Sales

Sales of new single-family houses in March 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000. This is 5.8 percent (+/- 15.5%)* above the revised February 2017 estimate of 587,000.


March 2017: +5.8* % change
February 2017 (r): +0.3* % change

New Residential Construction

Privately-owned housing starts in March 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000. This is 6.8 percent (+/- 12.5%)* below the revised February 2017 estimate of 1,303,000.


March 2017: -6.8* % change
February 2017 (r): +5.0* % change

Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales

U.S. total business end-of-month inventories for February 2017 were $1,839.9 billion, up 0.3 percent (+/- 0.1 percent) from last month. U.S. total business sales were $1,360.7 billion, up 0.2 percent (+/-0.2 percent)* from last month.


February 2017: +0.3 % change in Inventories
January 2017 (r): +0.3 % change in Inventories

Monthly Wholesale Trade

February 2017 sales of merchant wholesalers were $464.9 billion, up 0.6 percent (+/- 0.4 percent) from last month. End-of-month inventories were $594.2 billion, up 0.4 percent (+/- 0.2 percent) from last month.


February 2017: +0.4 % change in Inventories
January 2017 (r): -0.2* % change in Inventories

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

The Nation's international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $43.6 billion in February from $48.2 billion in January(revised), as exports increased and imports decreased.


February 2017: 43.6° $ billion
January 2017 (r): 48.2° $ billion

Quarterly Financial Report - Retail Trade

Seasonally adjusted after-tax profits for retail corporations with assets of $50 million and over were $28.3 billion for the fourth quarter 2016 (the 3 months ending January 31, 2017), up $5.4 (+/- 0.3) billion from third quarter 2016 (the 3 months ending October 31, 2016).


4th Qtr 2016: +5.4 $ billion
3rd Qtr 2016 (r): -0.1 $ billion

Quarterly Services Survey

The estimate of U.S. selected services total revenue for the fourth calendar quarter of 2016, not adjusted for seasonal variation, or for price changes, was $3,615.3 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent (+/- 0.2%) from the third quarter of 2016 and up 6.0 percent (+/- 0.6%) from the fourth quarter of 2015.


4th Qtr 2016: +2.3 % change
3rd Qtr 2016: +1.8 % change