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Economy in Brief

July Housing Starts Reverse June Drop
by Carol Stone August 17, 2004

Housing starts jumped 8.3% last month to 1.978M, almost exactly offsetting their June decline of 7.7% (revised from the initial report of 8.5%). Forecasters anticipated some of the rebound, having projected a 1.89 M total.

Single-family starts advanced 8.5%, more than countering June's 8.0% fall, an amount which now reflects an upward revision of the originally reported lower June volume.

Multi-family starts regained 7.6%, breaking a three-month string of declines.

Housing starts rose in every major region of the country, with the largest percentage increases in the West, 15.8%, and the Northeast, 15.7%.

Building permits were up 5.7% m/m.

Housing Starts (000s, AR) July June Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 1,978 1,826 -3.5% 1,848 1,705 1,601
  Single-family 1,651 1,522 6.3% 1,499 1,358 1,272
  Multi-family 327 304 -8.8% 349 347 330
Building Permits 2,055 1945 4.3% 1,831 1,748 1,637
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