18 March 2008 14:24 [Source: ICIS news]
Privately owned housing starts for February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.06m units, the department said, 0.6% below the revised January estimate of 1.07m units and a 28.4% below the revised February 2007 estimate of 1.48m units.
An estimated 978,000 building permits were issued in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, 7.8% below the revised January rate of 1.06m units and 36.5% below the revised February 2007 estimate, when 1.54m permits were filed.
Building permits are filed with the local governments by contractors when they are ready to begin work and are seen as a good near-term indicator of sector activity.
New home construction is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of products such as plastic pipes, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives and synthetic fibres.
Feb 08 vs Jan 08*
Feb 08 vs Feb 07
US housing starts
*seasonally adjusted and annualised
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