It means housing construction will continue to buoy economic growth for some time — and data out this week will shed light on the strength of the residential construction sector.

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Builder confidence is a reasonably good predictor of housing starts, the process of breaking ground on a home, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz told MarketWatch. With inventory of previously-owned homes at long-time lows, economists and housing analysts are looking to home builders to relieve some of the supply pressures in the housing market. And since housing construction — particularly single-family homes that need flooring, furniture and more — helps boost economic growth that may even help lengthen the business cycle.

He defines a normal level of production—one which would sustain population growth and replace older and obsolete homes—as about 1.

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Housing starts have run at about a 1. Dietz and other private housing analysts also believe the trend toward building more single-family homes, away from apartments, will continue. In the years after the financial crisis, when many people were unable or unwilling to purchase homes, apartment construction boomed.

More signs the apartment boom may be fizzling. Single-family housing starts were roughly two-thirds of all starts in , compared to about three-quarters in NAHB estimates that building the average single-family home generates about three jobs, while building a multi-family unit generates just one.

For a construction industry that lost 1. Builders are grappling with lots of higher input costs, including land and materials. Builder stocks hammered on lumber tariff hike. Manufacturing data is also on deck this week, and two readings early in the week should show a bit of a cool down in the factory sector.

First, on Monday, the Empire State Index tracking activity in New York for May should show a reading close to the 5. This would be down from eye-popping readings of On Tuesday, April industrial output should be up 0.

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