After reporting a steep drop in new residential construction in the U.S. in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday unexpectedly showing a continued decline in housing starts in the month of June.
The Commerce Department said housing starts slumped by 2.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.559 million after plunging by 11.9 percent to a revised rate of 1.591 million in May.
The continued decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected housing starts to jump by 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.585 million from the 1.549 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected decrease, housing starts dropped to the lowest annual rate since hitting 1.505 million in April of 2021.
The report showed building permits also fell by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.685 million in June after tumbling by 7.0 percent to a rate of 1.695 million in May.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, were expected to slump by 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.650 million.