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US Housing Starts, Industrial Production Slow
The number of new housing starts in the U.S. dropped sharply to open the second quarter, while industrial production growth stalled on steep drop in automobiles and parts, according to Bloomberg.
The number of new housing starts in the U.S. dropped sharply to open the second quarter, while industrial production growth stalled on steep drop in automobiles and parts, according to Bloomberg. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported work began on new homes in the U.S. at an annual rate of 523,000 units during April, which is 11% below the pace recorded during previous month. Building permits also dropped 4% to an annual rate of 551,000, and both figures were well below economists forecasts of 569,000 and 590,000, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reported that output at factories, mines, and utilities in the U.S. was unchanged in April from the previous month as industrial output growth stalled. The lull followed a 0.7% gain in March, with a 0.4% drop at manufacturers weighing on the headline figure. The stalled growth disappointed economists looking for a 0.4% gain in industrial production. An 8.9% decrease in the production of automobiles and auto parts dragged the overall figure down, and some economists are optimistic that the change in temporary and could be linked to a slowdown among Japanese manufacturers in the wake of the tsunami.
Click here to read the story on housing starts from Bloomberg News.
Click here for coverage of industrial production from Bloomberg News.