These are the personal views of Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission:
Thursday, the Commerce Department releases key data for new home construction-housing starts and permits issued for March. After rising in February to 583,000, housing starts are expected to slip back to 550,000, and those February levels were hardly anything to cheer about. Building permits are expected to remain at recessionary levels.
Even with the $8,000 tax credit for new home buyers, the pace of customer visits remains slow, and the glut of unsold homes exceeds a 12-month supply. A figure less than half that would be considered healthy.