U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in April as builders ramped up the construction of single and multifamily homes, supporting views that the economy was regaining steam early in the second quarter.
Groundbreaking increased 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. March's starts were revised up slightly to a 1.10 million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.09 million-unit pace.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a 1.13 million-unit pace last month. The government revised seasonally adjusted housing starts data from January 2014 through March this year.
Last month's housing starts data added to strong April retail sales in suggesting that the economy was picking up momentum after growth almost halted in the first quarter.