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UPDATE:Building permits in the United States surged 6.8 per cent to a four year high last month, new data from the Census Bureau shows.
Permits advanced to an annualized pace of 812,000 in July, up from a revised 760,000 a month earlier.
Residential housing starts also remained near highs, though they retreated 1.1 per cent to 746,000.
Economists had expected a narrower decline to 756,000.
“The housing data also continues to look very good, and relative to the past several years, extremely good,” Eric Green of TD Securities said following the mornings report. “While the pace of activity remains 70% off a bubble induced peak, it is momentum that matters. In the case of housing it is generally all good.”
Regionally, the Northeast and West led the gain in issuing permits, both up in the low double-digit range.
The backlog of houses that have permits issued but have yet to have construction begin also increased in July, up 3.3 per cent to 88,900 units.
Minutes away from the second of three major economic announcements of the morning: U.S. Housing Starts and Building Permits.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast starts declined 0.5 per cent in July to an annual pace of 756,000.
Even if starts decelerate slightly, they would remain near a high not seen since October 2008.
Building permits are still expected to rise 1.2 per cent to a rate of 769,000 a year.
The announcement is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.