US housing starts see unexpected fall in October
According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes plunged 10.6% in October to an annual rate of 529,000 properties – the lowest level since April.
Analysts had expected the rate to exceed the 600,000 mark.
The decline in construction was led by a fall in demand for both single-family and multi-family occupancies.
Meanwhile, applications for building permits, a barometer of future home construction, also fell 4% to an annual rate of 552,000 units in October. This was also well below analysts’ expectations of 580,000.
David Resler from Nomura Securities described the figures as “really disappointing”.
“I had convinced myself that we had turned the corner on housing,” he added. “I am no longer convinced. This is really a quite weak number,” said Mr Resler.
In addition, other data showed a marginal rise in US consumer prices of 0.3%, driven by higher energy prices.
In related news, US President Barack Obama has warned that the US economy could be heading for a ‘W-shaped’ recession unless action is taken to rein back America’s growing levels of public debt.