Housing starts missed.

The Census said March starts climbed just 2.8%, or to a a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, compared with a consensus expectation for a jump to 7%, or 970,000, from a reading of 1.9% prior, or 907,000.

Building permits also fell 2.4% more than expected, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000. Analysts expected a decline of just 0.4%, to 1,010,000 after a 7.7% surge to 1,018,000 in February.

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Reaction so far has been mixed. Here’s fixed income portfolio manager David Schawel:

But Trulia economist Jed Kolko was more upbeat

We’re still well below even pre-boom levels:

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