Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mixed data on housing

U.S. housing starts increased for the second straight month in April, the Commerce Department reported today but building permits dropped sharply.

Housing starts increased 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000 from a revised 635,000 in March. April's starts marked the highest level of new construction in 18 months.

Starts of single-family homes rose 10.2% in April to a 593,000-unit annual rate, the highest since August 2008.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 11.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 606,000, the lowest in six months.

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