- Housing construction in March surged to levels near those of December 2003, when they
highest levels in almost 20 years.
- In the first quarter of 2004, the national homeownership rate remained at a record high
percent, originally set in the fourth quarter of 2003.
- Minority homeownership set a new quarterly record of 50.8 percent in the first quarter,
percentage points from the fourth quarter and up 1.5 percentage points from the first quarter of
- Inflation remains restrained, with the core CPI rising only 1.6 percent and the core
PPI rising only 0.7 percent over the last 12 months.
- Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, making homebuying easier and more
- American companies are reporting historic levels of growth.
- Productivity grew from 2000 to 2003 at the fastest 3-year rate in more than 50 years. This
bolstered profits and will lead to significantly higher real wages for workers.
- More manufacturers are reporting increased activity and new orders than at any time in 20
years. The ISM Manufacturing employment index in March was at its highest level since 1987.