Construction on new U.S. homes moderated over the past two months after stronger gains earlier in the summer. Housing starts fell 3.0% to an annual rate of 1.13 million units in August, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected starts drop to a seasonally adjusted 1.16 million. Starts in July were revised down sharply to a decline of 4.1% to an annual rate of 1.16 million units from the prior estimate of a 0.2% gain to 1.21 million. Despite the declines over the past two months, starts are up 16.6% from August 2014. Meanwhile permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, rebounded 3.5% to an annual rate of 1.17 million units after dropping 15.5% in August.
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