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September had solid US factory production, while builder pessimism deepens

Homebuilder sentiment has dropped by half compared to six months ago
Factory jobs
Posted at 6:07 PM, Oct 18, 2022

U.S. factory production showed promising output in September as production rose with increased output.

Factory output gains were in both nondurable and durable goods, signaling the Federal Reserve's intense series of policy interest rateincreasesover recent months haven't stopped demand in specific sectors amid increased inflation.

The Fed's efforts to lower inflation have, however, appeared to impact the housing market more markedly.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) released data along with the Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which showed sentiment for homebuilders of single-family homes has fallen by half compared to what it was just six months ago.

NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter said, “High mortgage rates ... have significantly weakened demand, particularly for first-time and first-generation prospective home buyers.” He said, “This situation is unhealthy and unsustainable.”

Robert Dietz, a chief economist for the NAHB, said, “This will be the first year since 2011 to see a decline for single-family starts."

The NAHB/HMI data showed that its gauge on market conditions reflected an 8-point drop to 38 for October compared to the previous month.