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Drop in U.S. Housing Starts Shows Industry May Weigh on Growth

(Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg Markets)

Three straight months of declines in new-home construction show U.S. homebuilding may weigh on second-quarter growth, Commerce Department data showed Friday.

May starts were pushed lower by declining construction in South, which reached the weakest level since October 2015, and in the Midwest. Construction of single-family properties dropped 3.9 percent to the lowest since September, while ground-breaking on multifamily units declined for a fifth straight month.

Shortages of skilled workers and available lots have weighed on the industry even as Americans remain upbeat about home-buying. Builders have become a bit less buoyant than earlier in the Trump administration, when they registered the highest optimism since 2005, data earlier this week from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo showed. Click here to read more.