Big rebound for housing starts in July
Housing starts more than made up for lost ground in July, rising 15.7% over June’s upwardly revised estimate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000.
On a year-over-year basis, this represents a 21.7% improvement over July 2013’s rate of 898,000.
June’s progress was also not as poor as previously reported, standing at an upwardly revised estimate of 945,000 (compared to an original estimate of 893,000).
For single-family housing starts, the number came in at 656,000, which is 8.3% above last month’s rate. The progress was felt especially in the South, which jumped 16.9% after a poor showing in June.
Building permits for privately-owned housing units were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,052,000, an 8.1% improvement over the revised June rate of 973,000.
Additionally, multi-family housing starts jumped 33% to a rate of 423,000 units, which is its highest since January 2006.
Strong quarter for Home Depot
Home Depot’s net earnings crossed the $2 billion mark in the second quarter, as spring business for the world’s largest home improvement retailer rebounded along with core departments.
Net earnings of $2.050 billion were up 14.2% from the same quarter last year. Net sales rose 5.7% to $23.811 billion. Comparable store sales were positive 5.8% — and positive 6.4% for U.S. stores.
"In the second quarter, our spring seasonal business rebounded, and we saw strong performance in the core of the store and across all of our geographies," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO.
At the end of the quarter, the Home Depot store-count tally stood at 2,264.
With the strong numbers, the company raised its earnings-per-share guidance for the full year. It now looks for earnings per share to be up about 20.2% to $4.52. The Home Depot also maintained its previously released sales guidance for the fiscal year of 4.8% growth.