Building permits are a type of authorization that must be granted by a government or other regulatory body before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the finalized number of the total monthly building permits on the 18th working day of every month.
The monthly building permit report is closely watched by economists and investors alike. Since all related factors associated with the construction of a building are important economic activities (for example, financing and employment), the building permit report can give a major hint as to the state of the economy in the near future.
The type of build permits issued can be indicators of growth or stagnation in particular segments of the economy. For example, an upsurge of commercial building permits often indicates businesses are expanding, or new companies are being established. If there is a rise in building permits for more warehouses, it can be a sign that commerce will increase in the coming years.
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