(RTTNews) - New residential construction in the U.S. showed a substantial decrease in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The report said housing starts plunged by 22.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.216 million in March from a revised rate of 1.564 million in February.
Economists had expected housing starts to drop to a rate of 1.300 million from the 1.599 million originally reported for the previous month.
The Commerce Department said building permits also tumbled by 6.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.353 million in March from the revised February rate of 1.452 million.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to slump to a rate of 1.300 million from the 1.464 million originally reported for February.
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