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U.S. Housing Starts Keep Building In January

The housing sector of the U.S. economy seems determined to keep the recovery from the 2001 recession from slowing significantly. In marked contrast to economists' expectations that the seasonally adjusted annual rate would decline to 1.93 million in January, starts of privately owned housing actually increased 4.7% from December 2004 to a rate of 2.159 million, the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported on Feb. 16.

Starts of single-family homes rose 2.7% in January to an annual rate of 1.760 million; starts in buildings with five or more units was at an annual rate of 355,000, up 17.9% from December 2004.

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