U.S. Housing Starts Fall 0.3% In March, Sees Annual Decline of 14.2%
(Kitco News) - The U.S. housing sector continues to struggle to find momentum as construction of new homes misses expectations.
Friday, the Commerce Department’s latest report said that U.S. housing starts fell 0.3% in to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.139 million units in last month. Consensus forecasts called for starts to be around 1.23 million.
The report noted that for the year construction in the housing sector is down nearly 14.2% since March 2018.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said the tally of building permits – important as an indicator of future construction activity – fell by 1.7% last month to an annualized rate of 1.269 million. Economists were expecting to see an increase to 1.30 million.
The report said that permits are down 7.8% compared to last year’s data.
The U.S. housing sector continues to be a drag on the U.S. economy. However, with markets closed for Good Friday the disappointing data is expected to have little impact on markets when they open Monday.