WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday housing starts rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted 2 million annual rate in August.
Revised figures showed starts rose 9.4 percent in July to a 1.988 million rate. The July increase had previously been reported as a 8.3 percenmt advance to 1.978 million.
Wall Street economists expected August housing starts would decline 1.4 percent to a 1.950 million annual rate.
The report also showed an indicator of future building activity falling last month. Building permits dropped 5.5 percent to a 1.95 million annual rate. Permits climbed 6.2 percent in July to 2.07 million.
Single-family housing starts increased by 0.4 percent in August, as did multifamily starts, or apartment building construction.
Regionally, starts rose 6.5 percent in the Northeast, 4.8 percent in the Midwest, and 1 percent in the South. Starts fell 4.7 percent in the West last month.