Business news from Ukraine

Number of new buildings in United States jumped by almost 11%

The number of housing starts in the United States in February increased by 10.7% compared to the previous month and amounted to 1.521 million at an annualized rate, according to a press release from the country’s Commerce Department. This is the most significant increase in the last nine months.

According to the revised data, in January the number of new buildings was 1.374 million (down 12.3%), not 1.331 million (down 14.8%), as previously reported.

Analysts on average had forecast a 7.1% decline from the previously announced January level, according to Trading Economics.

Construction of single-family homes jumped 11.6% last month to 1.129 million. The number of new apartment buildings (including apartments and condominiums), a more volatile segment of the market, increased by 8.6% to 377 thousand.

Meanwhile, the number of building permits for new homes in February increased by 1.9% to 1.518 million in annualized terms. This is the highest figure since August last year. Analysts had expected a rise of only 0.4%.

At the same time, the number of permits for the construction of single-family houses increased by 1%, and apartment buildings – by 4.1%.


Home sales increased in United States

Sales in the secondary housing market in the United States in January increased by 3.1% compared to the previous month and amounted to a five-month high of 4 million homes at an annualized rate, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

According to the revised data, sales totaled 3.88 million homes in December 2023.

Analysts on average expected the figure to rise to 3.97 million homes from the previously announced December level of 3.78 million, Trading Economics reports.

Resales of housing in the United States in January were 1.7% lower than a year earlier.

The median house price increased for the seventh consecutive month – by 5.1% in annual terms – and reached $379.1 thousand, updating the historical high for January.

The number of homes offered for sale at the end of last month amounted to 1.01 million, which is 3.1% higher than a year earlier and 2% higher than in December. At the current rate of sales, it would take 3 months to sell the homes for sale, compared to 3.1 months in December. It is believed that a six-month lead time indicates a balanced market, and less than five months indicates a tense situation.

Houses were sold in January in an average of 36 days, compared to 29 days in December and 33 days in January last year.

The secondary market accounts for about 90% of contracts for the purchase of housing in the United States, and they are taken into account in the statistics only after the transaction is completed.


United States is providing Ukraine with new arms package worth $175 mln

The administration of US President Joe Biden has announced additional assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $175 million, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.

The package will include air defense ammunition and artillery shells, additional ammunition for HIMARS, high-speed anti-radiation and anti-tank missiles, small arms ammunition, explosive ordnance to destroy obstacles, equipment to protect critical infrastructure, spare parts, support equipment, services, training, and transportation.

“Until Russia ends this war by halting its brutal attacks and withdrawing its troops from Ukraine, it is critical that the United States continue to lead the coalition we have built, consisting of more than 50 countries that stand firmly with Ukraine. If Congress does not act to approve the president’s request for additional national security funding, this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine,” the statement said.

The State Department emphasized that helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future is in the interests of U.S. national security and promotes global stability around the world, “and we need Congress to act now.”


United States will help Ukraine export grain to global markets

The United States will support Ukraine’s grain exports to markets that desperately need them, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing.

“We are going to continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to get Ukrainian grain to markets that desperately need it,” she said.

The spokeswoman also noted the provision of U.S. financial support and supplies for Ukrainian farmers, such as seeds and fertilizer, as well as assistance with crop storage and processing.

In addition, Jean-Pierre recalled that the U.S. government is providing Ukraine with $250 million in financial assistance to support the agricultural sector.

“The United States will allocate another $250 million to the AGRI Ukraine initiative to help Ukrainian farmers produce, store and export agricultural products and grain to global markets,” she emphasized.

, ,

Manufacturers from Europe due to high energy prices began to transfer activities to United States

European producers, faced with a surge in energy prices, are shifting operations to the United States, hoping to take advantage of both greater stability in the US energy market and government incentives, The Wall Street Journal writes.
Experts warn of the possibility of a new wave of deindustrialization in Europe amid wild energy price fluctuations and persistent problems in supply chains. The operating environment in the US looks much more favorable, especially for chemical manufacturers and companies in other energy-intensive industries. In August, US President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides, in particular, tax incentives for industrial companies and representatives of the green energy sector.
Earlier this month, the WSJ reported, citing sources, that American electric car maker Tesla Inc. paused a plan to manufacture batteries in Germany in connection with the possibility of obtaining tax benefits in the United States. Sources told the paper that Tesla is considering shipping battery manufacturing equipment to the States for its Berlin facility.
European companies that have announced expansions in the US this year include automaker Volkswagen AG, as well as, for example, the Dutch chemical company OCI NV, which owns an ammonia plant in Texas.
European steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA earlier this month announced it was cutting production at two plants in Germany. At the same time, the results of her Texas enterprise turned out to be better than expected, which the head of the company, Aditya Mittal, explained by the low cost of energy in the region.
Experts note that the US economy has weathered the pandemic fairly well and is more attractive for business than Europe and China, despite record inflation, continued problems in supply chains and the risks of a recession as a result of tightening monetary policy by the Federal Reserve System (Fed). China is still under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, and Europe is destabilized by the energy crisis due to the conflict in Ukraine.
It will be difficult for European manufacturers to remain competitive without lower energy prices or government subsidies, said Svein Tore Holseter, chief executive officer of Norwegian chemical company Yara International ASA.
“Some industries will have to relocate production on a permanent basis as a result,” he said.

, ,

State budget of Ukraine received a grant from United States in amount of $1.5 billion

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal says that the state budget has received a $1.5 billion grant from the United States from the World Bank Trust Fund.
“The state budget received a grant in the amount of $1.5 billion. This is the last tranche of $4.5 billion from the United States from the World Bank Trust Fund,” Shmygal wrote on Twitter.
According to him, the funds will be used to reimburse budgetary expenses for pension payments and social assistance programs.
The prime minister thanked US President Joseph Biden for supporting Ukraine.

, ,