A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed a sharp increase in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of August, although the report also showed a steep drop in building permits during the month.
The Commerce Department said housing starts spiked by 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.282 million in August from the revised July estimate of 1.174 million.
Economists had expected housing starts to jump by 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.235 million from the 1.168 million originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said building permits tumbled by 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.229 million in August from a revised 1.303 million in July.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to edge down by 0.1 percent to a rate of 1.310 million from the 1.311 million originally reported for the previous month.