U.S. Housing Starts Surge Much More Than Expected In February

After reporting decreases in new U.S. residential construction for six straight months, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a substantial rebound in housing starts in the month of February.

The Commerce Department said housing starts spiked by 9.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.450 million in February after slumping by 2.0 percent to a revised rate of 1.321 million in January.

Economists had expected housing starts to rise to an annual rate of 1.315 million from the 1.309 million originally reported for the previous month.

The report said building permits also skyrocketed by 13.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.524 million in February after inching up by 0.1 percent to an unrevised rate of 1.339 million in January.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to edge up to an annual rate of 1.340 million.

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