US housing starts fall in February

New US home construction fell slightly in February from January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, as the market continued to suffer from harsh winter storms.

New home starts took place at an annual pace of 907,000 units, compared to a 909,000 unit pace in January.

That was around 11 percent lower than December's strong level and down from 969,000 a year ago, but still relatively strong.

Meanwhile the issuance of building permits for housing rose in February after a two-month slump, suggesting a potential rebound in overall construction as the winter ebbs.

The sluggish activity in the housing and construction sector since December has sparked worries among some economists of a fundamental slowdown in the economy.

But most analysts are chalking it up to the series of severe winter storms that have swept across the eastern half of the country since December, dampening much other economic activity.

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