http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5oDxafZlx2I -" Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Housing starts in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in July, pulled down by multifamily dwellings, while single-family starts which make up most of the industry rose to the highest level since October. The 1 percent decline in starts to an annual rate of 581,000 was the first drop in three months and followed a 587,000 rate in June, the Commerce Department said today in Washington." Some will coke it up like Kudlow and say this represents Green Shoots because inventory can be worked off, as there's fewer units being added to supply. The reality is that you could quit all construction, period, today, and have years' worth of inventory to work off. The glut of REOs, vacant homes, 'walk-aways', 'new but empty' homes is mind boggling. And for posterity's sake, let's look at housing starts over the last few years, which shows how the American Consumer is on death's doorstep, as in Hospice, and isn't coming around this time: This was being reported as bad news three years ago - http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/18/news/economy/housingstarts/index.htm - By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer April 18, 2006: 11:15 AM EDT NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Home builders hit the brakes in March, cutting the number of housing starts and new permits in the face of rising mortgage rates and a growing glut of new homes on the market. The Census Bureau reported that housing starts slumped nearly 8 percent to an annual rate of 1.96 million in March from a revised 2.13 million pace in February. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast the rate would slip to 2.03 million last month. So, around 2.2 million starts was where we were in 2005/2006. We're now at 581,000, with the real possibility of dropping quite a bit more, as the fundamental economy worsens and banks implode. Green Shits!