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Friday 29th of October 2010
August 17, 2010    

US housing starts up, building permits down

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by Kay Murchie
US housing starts up, building permits down

The Commerce Department has today revealed US housing starts recovered in July but building permits fell.

According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes rose 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 properties – however, the figure was less than economists had expected.

In the meantime, applications for building permits, a barometer of future home construction, fell by 3.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 565,000.

On an annual basis, housing starts are down 7% as the withdrawal of a Government tax incentive has resulted in a fall in activity.

In related news, yesterday the National Association of Home Builders revealed a fall in confidence.

The US home builder sentiment index fell in August to the lowest level since March 2009.

According to the index, confidence among US home builders continued to slump as the US housing market continues to struggle and weakens demand for construction.

The National Association of Home Builders said its index fell from 14 in July to 13 this month, representing the third consecutive month that home builder sentiment declined.

Meanwhile, in other news, the Labor Department has revealed that US wholesale prices rose in July for the first time in four months.

The figures will allay fears that the world’s largest economy is heading for deflation.

The producer price index - the measure of wholesale inflation, rose by 0.2% - in line with expectations.

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