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Financial News: U.S. Housing Starts Pull Back Sharply In February

U.S. Housing Starts Pull Back Sharply In February

03/26/2019 - 09:15:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New residential construction in the U.S. pulled back sharply in February after jumping in the previous month, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.

The Commerce Department said housing starts plunged by 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.162 million in February after surging up by 11.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.273 million in January.

Economists had expected housing starts to dip to a rate of 1.213 million from the 1.230 million originally reported for the previous month.

The steep drop in housing starts came as single-family starts plummeted by 17.0 percent to 805,000, the lowest rate in well over a year.

On the other hand, the report said multi-family permits spiked by 17.8 percent to an annual rate of 357,000 after showing a notable decrease in the previous month.

The Commerce Department also said building permits fell by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.296 million in February after dipping by 0.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.1317 million in January.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to drop to 1.300 million from the 1.345 million originally reported for the previous month.

While single-family permits came in unchanged at a rate of 821,000, multi-family permits slid 4.2 percent to a rate of 475,000.

Compared to the same month a year, housing starts in February were down by 9.9 percent and building permits were down by 2.0 percent.

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