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September 23, 2004

U.S. housing construction surges again in August

WASHINGTON

U.S. housing construction in August surged to its highest level in five months, a dose of encouraging news for the economy’s expansion.

The number of housing projects launched by builders clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of two million units, a 0.6 per cent increase from July’s level, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The two-million-unit pace of housing construction registered in August was the highest since March and was better than analysts were expecting.

They were forecasting housing construction to decline last month.

July’s housing figures also turned out to be stronger than the government first estimated; housing construction shot up by 9.4 per cent to an annual rate of nearly 1.99 million units.

The latest report on housing reinforced Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan’s view that the economy has regained some traction after hitting a soft patch in the late spring.

The Associated Press

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