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Housing Starts Hit Two-Year Low

Housing starts and permits are slowing nationwide. The current pace of construction would have been considered a trough in pre-recession economic cycles.
April 20, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Andrea Riquier reports on housing data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week. The data show housing starts slowing for the nation as a whole, falling short of expectations and reaching lows not seen since the early days of the Trump administration.

Housing starts were at a 1.14 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, the Commerce Department said Friday, 0.3% lower compared to February.

It missed the MarketWatch consensus of a 1.225 million seasonally adjusted annual rate and was the lowest since May 2017.

Permits fell 1.7% to a rate of 1.27 million. Economists expected a 1.3 million rate on permits.

In addition to sharing the new data, Riquier also writes about how the slow housing construction industry fits into the big picture of an economy that includes constrained supply, memories of the last recession, a tight labor market, expensive materials, and complex regulatory environments.

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Published on Friday, April 19, 2019 in Marketwatch
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