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Housing Starts Expected To Slow

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The Census Department May Housing starts and permits data is set to be released at 8:30 ET this morning, with Bloomberg consensus start estimates of 1.09 million units, with a range from 1.044 million to 1.155 million. A housing start is defined as construction of a new building intended primarily as a residential building.

Housing permits are expected to be 1.105 million, with a range from 1.065 million to 1.200 million.

May's estimates are a slowdown from April's torrid growth, which saw a dramatic increase of 20.2 percent in starts and a 10.1 percent rise in permits. The consensus May estimates for starts of 1.09 million is a 4.0 decrease from April, while the permits are expected to slow to a 3.3 percent decline at 1.105 million.

The expected softening in May follows three straight months of gains in both housing starts and permits.

Interesting to note that the 20.2 percent gain in April starts was the highest level since November 2007, which coincided not only with the last top in the housing market, but the last top in the stock market as well. The Housing numbers will also be the last piece of economic data before the Federal Reserve begins its two-day meeting.

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