New-Home Builds Increase, Fall Short of Forecasts

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Home construction is up, but not enough to mount a recoveryBuilders are building more new homes, but apparently not enough to constitute a recovery. While housing starts increased 1.7 percent in July, to 546,000, those numbers were substantially lower than the 560,000 anticipated, according to the Commerce Department. New building permits fell 3.1 percent to a 14-month low, indicating that future home construction plans were weak. While the increases hardly indicate a robust recovery, they do suggest that the likelihood of a double-dip recession is lower than previously believed, say some economists.

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