The July report on residential
construction from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban
Development shows that permits increased during the month for only the second
time since January while housing starts posted a significant decline, falling
in three of the four major regions.

Permits for residential construction were
at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.635 million units, up 2.6 percent
from the 1.594 million rate in June. June’s permits were originally reported at
1.598 million units. The rate of permitting was 6.0 percent higher than the
1.542 million unit estimate in July 2020.

The permitting
number was slightly higher than expected. Analysts polled by Econoday
had a consensus forecast of 1.62 million units and Trading Economics’
predictions came in at 1.61 million.

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