Housing starts rise to nine-month high


Housing starts rose 1.5 percent to a 598,000 annual rate in August, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Thursday, continuing a nearly year-long trend of improving home-building fundamentals.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected housing starts to total a 600,000 annualized rate in August. Housing starts totaled a revised 581,000 annual pace in July. In August, building permits rose 2.7 percent to 579,000 -- the metric's highest level since November 2008.