Housing market data, particularly starts and permits, can be particularly noisy from month to month, but the sector overall has been one of the weaker parts of the U.S. economy.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to drop to a seasonally adjusted 1.24 million rate from a revised 1.27 million in the prior month.
Permits to build more homes, meanwhile, sank 6.1% to a 1.22 million pace, the government said Wednesday. That’s the lowest level since mid-2017.
Permits are also about 7% lower compared to the same month a year earlier.
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