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Financial News: U.S. Housing Starts Unexpectedly Show Steep Drop In

U.S. Housing Starts Unexpectedly Show Steep Drop In May

06/16/2017 - 08:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New residential construction in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a steep drop in the month of May, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The report said housing starts slumped by 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.092 million in May from the revised April estimate of 1.156 million.

The significant decline surprised economists, who had expected housing starts to climb to a rate of 1.215 million from the 1.172 million originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department said building permits also tumbled by 4.9 percent to a rate of 1.168 million in May from a revised 1.228 million in April.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to rise to a rate of 1.250 million from the 1.229 million that had been reported for the previous month.

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