Construction of new homes surged in April from March, as the warmer weather ushered in builders to break ground on new homes at the fastest pace in 2014. The Commerce Department reported that Housing Starts jumped 13.2% in April to an annual rate of 1.07 million units, above the 975,000 that was expected. The gains were largely due to a big surge in multi-family dwellings, up 43%, while single-family starts were up less than 1%.
The labor market continues to improve across the country as the weather related issues have thawed out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that unemployment rates declined in 43 states with 30 states reporting rates below the national average of 6.3%. The lowest rate of unemployment comes from the state of North Dakota, due to a big boom in oil and natural gas explorations production. Rhode Island is the highest at 8.3%.
Consumer Sentiment across the nation declined this month as prospects of income growth dimmed. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 81.8 from the 84.1 reading recorded in April and below expectations of 84.5. There was some good news within the report-consumers judged the current state of the economy at the most favorable in ten years.