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Saturday 22nd of January 2011
January 21, 2010    

US housing starts fall, producer prices up

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by Kay Murchie

The Commerce Department has revealed a fall in housing starts for the month of December but building permits rose.

According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes fell 4% during the month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 557,000 properties. The fall was primarily due to bad weather which hit most of the country.

Meanwhile, applications for building permits, a barometer of future home construction, soared by 10.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000.

In other news, the US Labor Department reported a rise in producer prices of 0.2% in December.

The rise followed a 1.8% gain in November and a 0.3% rise in October. For the 2009 year, prices grew 4.4%.

In a separate report, the number of US workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance rose in the week ended January 16, according to the Labor Department.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits grew 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 482,000 - the third consecutive weekly rise.

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