Housing Starts: The News is Not As Good As the Headline, Nor As Bad

I try not rant in this blog.  I really try.  But here's the Wall Street Journal headline:  "Housing Starts Rise, but Remain Subdued."  On the other hand, CNBC says, "
Producer Prices, Housing Starts Post Surprise Drops."

Huh?  Did housing starts rise, or did they drop?  Turns out, they effectively did neither.  Oh, there was a tiny change from last month to this month, but really, really tiny, so much that they were effectively flat.  Look at the chart and see if you don't agree.


The moral of the story: the newspaper headlines tell you approximately nothing.