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The Week Ahead: Will Construction Spending End Inventory Issues?

construction-twoRecent reports have shown that increasing demand and low inventory levels are fueling home prices and are likely the driving factor of the recent uptick in construction spending, but will the U.S. Census Bureau deliver more promising news for an industry in need this week?

Spending in the construction sector rose to $1.097 trillion in December 2015, up 10.5 percent from 2014's total expenditures of $993.4 billion and the highest yearly level since 2007, when spending stood at $1.148 trillion.

So will the construction dollars continue to flow in January report?

"At our current pace of activity and taking into account loss of housing stock due to disaster and dilapidation, we're building new units at less than half the pace at which we are forming households," said Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke Smoke. "The housing shortage only worsens if this remains the picture. Tight supply of homes for sale and low vacancies will continue to be the norm, and along with that, higher rents and prices."

Here is the lineup for the week:

Monday, February 29

Pending Home Sales Index, January 2016 10:00 A.M. EST

Pending home sales moved up very little in December 2015, coming in much less than projected by industry experts. According to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR)Pending Home Sales Index, pending home sales rose only 0.1 percent to 106.8 in December, marking the 16th month of consecutive increases.

The index, which tracks contract signings, found that pending home sales stood at 106.7 in November 2015 and is up 4.2 percent year-over-year in December from last year's total of 102.5.

Ocwen Financial Q4 and Full Year 2015 Earnings Statement

Wednesday, March 2

Federal Reserve Beige Book 2:00 P.M. EST

Despite existing-home sales falling to their slowest pace in 19 months in November, the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported mixed but slightly improved housing markets for the six-week period leading up to January 4, according to the Federal Reserve’s first Beige Book of 2016.

Friday, March 4

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Summary, February 2016 8:30 A.M. EST

The much-anticipated February 2016 Employment Summary will be released on Friday, March 4, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While January’s job gains slowed down somewhat after three consecutive months of solid gains from October to December. January’s employment summary did hold some good news—the unemployment rate dipped below 5 percent (4.9 percent) for the first time in eight years.

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