U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as a plunge in the construction of multi-family housing units offset a second straight monthly increase in single-family projects. Housing starts declined 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

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That was the biggest monthly decline since July 2013. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.26 Thousand units from 1963 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand units in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand units in February of 2011.

This is the lowest median price for a new home since September 2004 and the largest year-over-year decline since December 1970. Sales of new homes rose by 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 1.075 million homes This is second consecutive increase in sales following three months of declines.

 · Despite the decline in profits in Q1 2019, it still managed to generate $2.3 billion in free cash flow during the quarter, ensuring it’s got plenty of cash to pay its attractive 6.5% dividend.

"As a leading indicator of economic activity, February’s steep decline in housing starts may raise some eyebrows in Ottawa," Fotios Raptis, senior economist at TD Bank, wrote in a report.

Lindsey Piegza, Stifel Nicolaus & Co Chief Economist, commented on the data saying, "Housing starts fell nearly triple the expected decline, down 11% in October, the largest monthly decline since February, and pulling the annualized rate of starts down from 1,191k to 1,060k, the slowest pace in seven months."

 · The IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI dropped to 49.9 in August from 50.4 in July and below market expectations of 50.5, a preliminary estimate showed. The latest reading pointed to the first month of contraction in manufacturing since September 2009, as new orders fell the most in 10 years led by the largest decline in exports since August 2009.

largest monthly decline since December 2014. The Bloomberg Grains Index (-6.0% mom) declined for the second consecutive month and posted the worst monthly decline since August 2018 led by weakness in wheat (-5.1% MoM) prices. The Bloomberg Energy Index (-5.9% MoM) declined for the third time in four months. Despite a sharp