05/16/18: The U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that initial work on the construction of new, privately-owned U.S. homes (“new housing starts”) declined by 3.7% during April, as compared to the prior month.

In comparison to the same month a year ago, the Department of Commerce reported that new housing starts rose by 10.5% during April, following a 13.3% year-over-year increase during March.

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Additionally, the Department of Commerce reported that the number of building permits issued for the construction of new homes declined by 1.8% during April, indicating that new housing starts will also decline modestly during May.

Industrial Production Rises for Third Consecutive Month

Separately, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities rose for the third consecutive month during April, increasing by 0.7%, as compared to the prior month, and by 3.5%, as compared to the same month a year ago.

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The economic developments mentioned above indicate that the U.S. economy is continuing to expand at a healthy pace and that U.S. stock prices will trend higher over at least the next couple of months.