New-home construction in the U.S. climbed in March to the highest level in almost five years, propelled by a surge in multifamily building that will support economic growth.
Starts (NHSPSTOT) climbed 7 percent to a 1.04 million annual rate, the most since June 2008, from a revised 968,000 pace in February that was larger than previously reported, according to Commerce Department figures issued today in Washington. Other reports showed consumer prices unexpectedly dropped last month and factory production cooled.
Near record-low mortgage rates and pent-up demand for rental units will keep residential construction a pillar of the expansion as concern grows that mandated cuts in planned federal spending will slow the world’s largest economy. A lack of inflation also means the Federal Reserve can keep pumping money into financial markets to help stem any slackening.
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