It looks like the green shoots are being momentarily stunted by a dry spell. U.S. housing starts plummeted 12.8 percent in April, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Tuesday (pdf).
Housing starts for new homes fell to a 458,000 annual rate in April -- the weakest level since the 1940s. Housing starts are now down more than 54 percent in the past year and about 80 percent since the peak hit about three years ago. Housing starts totaled a revised 511,000 annualized pace in March.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected housing starts to total a 540,000 annualized rate in April.