U.S. housing starts fall; building permits hit one-year high

U.S. homebuilding fell in January as the construction of multi-family housing projects dropped, but upward revisions to the prior month’s data and a jump in permits to a one-year high suggested the housing recovery remained on track. Other reports on Thursday also offered a fairly upbeat assessment of the economy early in the first quarter. Factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region vaulted to a 33-year high in February and the number of new applications for unemployment benefits was less than expected last week.

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