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Economy in Brief

Housing Starts Fell Sharply
by Tom Moeller July 20, 2004

Housing starts fell 8.5% last month to the lowest level since May of last year. June starts totaled 1.802Mversus the Consensus expectation for 1.95M. It was the largest m/m drop in starts since February 2003.

Single family starts paced the decline with a 9.5% skid to the lowest level since last May.

Multi-family starts fell 3.7%, the third consecutive monthly decline.

The decline in housing starts last month was across the country's regions, but was most pronounced in the West where starts fell 16.5% from a record high.

Building permits fell 8.2% m/m from a record high.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) June May Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 1,802 1,970 -2.6% 1,848 1,711 1,601
  Single-family 1,489 1,645 -1.1% 1,501 1,364 1,272
  Multi-family 313 325 -9.3% 347 347 330
Building Permits 2,077 2,006 12.5% 1,831 1,750 1,637
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