U.S. housing starts fell more than expected in August, but a rebound in building permits pointed to sustained strength in the housing market, which should support economic growth.
Groundbreaking dropped 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.13 million-units, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. July's starts were revised down to a 1.16 million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.21 million-unit pace.
Despite the fall, which reflected declines in groundbreaking on single and multifamily projects, starts remained above a one million-unit pace for the fifth straight month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast groundbreaking on new homes falling to a 1.17 million-unit pace last month.
Building permits increased 3.5 percent last month to a 1.17 million-unit pace, after declining 15.5 percent in July.