Yesterday's `Birth Dearth': Tomorrow's Housing Bust?

Can housing play its usual antirecessionary role by providing the driving force of economic recovery? That's the question plaguing a number of economists, who note that housing starts, which normally take off in the depths of a downturn, have been relatively restrained this time around--running in the current quarter only 19% above their cyclically low 915,000 annual pace in the first quarter.

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