U.S. Housing Starts Rise Less Than Expected In August

Housing starts in the U.S. rose by much less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, which also unexpectedly showed a sharp drop in building permits.

The report said housing starts rose 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 891,000 in August from the revised July estimate of 883,000.

Economists had expected housing starts to climb to 915,000 from the 896,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, tumbled 3.8 percent to an annual rate of 918,000 in August from the revised July rate of 954,000.

The drop in building permits came as a surprise to economists, who had expected permits to climb to 950,000 from the 943,000 originally reported for July.

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