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U.S. Housing Starts Pull Back Much More Than Expected In January

After reporting a sharp increase in new residential construction in the U.S. in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing housing starts pulled back by much more than expected in the month of January.

The Commerce Department said housing starts tumbled by 6.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.580 million in January from a revised December estimate of 1.680 million.

Economists had expected housing stocks to decrease by 0.7 percent to a rate of 1.658 million from the 1.669 million originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report also said building permits spiked by 10.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.881 million in January from the revised December rate of 1.704 million.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to slump by 1.8 percent to a rate of 1.678 million from the 1.709 million originally reported for the previous month.

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