Two Cheers for Wall Street Journal for Getting Housing Starts Report Partly Right

The headline number released last week for total housing starts in December jumped by 11.3% to a seasonally adjusted (SA) annual rate of 1.226 million. These numbers, released by the Commerce Department, are based on absolute nonsense. They come from the statistically manipulated impression of the trend average over 10 years, using the first release of preliminary data for the current data point.
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