US housing starts and permits slip in December
Builders in the US broke ground on fewer homes in December, roughly as expected.
According to the Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms, housing starts fell by 1.4% month-on-month to reach an annualised pace of 1.382m.
That was better than the decline to 1.350m that economists had anticipated.
However, the better-than-expected reading was offset by a downwards revision to the prior month's print from 1.427m to 1.401m.
Permits, which are considered to be a lead indicator for activity in the sector, slipped by 1.6% over the month to 1.33m (consensus: 1.37m).
In comparison to their level one year before, housing starts had declined by 21.8% and 29.9%, respectively.