US home construction jumps 17.3% in June

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In this March 25, 2020, photo, a construction worker walks along a roof on a new home in Nashville, Tenn. US home construction rebounded 4.3% in May after steep declines caused by shutdowns due to the coronavirus. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday, June 17, that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 last month after steep declines in April and March.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) – Construction of U.S. homes jumped 17.3% in June as some states opened back up, but still lags behind last year’s pace after this spring’s massive slowdown in building activity due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,186,000 in June after a modest recovery in May followed steep declines in April and March.

Even after a second straight month of increases, construction activity remains 4% below last year’s pace.

Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, rose 2.1% to 1.24 million units.

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