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In September, an uptick in starts

BY HBSDEALER Staff

While still nothing to celebrate, September was the best month for housing starts since April, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Commerce.

Total September housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, a 0.3% increase above the upwardly revised August estimate. The September figure is also 4.1% above the September 2009 rate of 586,000.

Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 452,000, up 4.4% above the downwardly revised August figure of 433,000. While still near the record low pace of 420,000, it’s the highest rate since May.

On a regional basis, single-family residential construction in the Northeast increased 66.7% compared with last month and increased 17.6% compared with the same month last year. However, in the South, year-over-year single-family starts declined 17.0%, and month-to-month starts were flat.

Building permits in September were at a rate of 539,000, down 5.6% from the revised August rate, and down 10.9% from the September 2009 estimate. Single-family building permits were up 0.5% to a rate of 405,000.

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Retail sales for September: Good, bad and flat

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. Census Bureau reported unadjusted monthly retail sales for home centers and pro dealers (NAICS 444) were $24.0 billion in August, up from $22.3 billion in the same month last year.

Unadjusted hardware store sales (NAICS 44413) were $1.51 billion, unchanged from August 2009.

However, August sales were down compared with July’s figures. Home centers and pro dealers declined 5.8% from July. Hardware stores declined 6.8%.

The Census Bureaus advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $367.7 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and 7.3% above September 2009.

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Bayer recognized by Home Depot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Home Depot merchants have selected consumer lawn and garden brand Bayer Advanced as its Outside Garden Supplier Partner of the Year 2010.

Bayer Advanced is backed by Bayer CropScience, a major crop protection company.

Bayer Advanced was chosen from more than 500 Home Depot suppliers in the Outside Garden category as a result of its overall performance over the past year.

“Bayer Advanced has distinguished itself over the past year, bringing new and innovative control products to The Home Depot that solve our customers’ problems better and in less time than previously possible,” said Scott Manning, Home Depot merchandising VP live goods and landscaping.

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