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Housing, Leading Index Probably Slumped: U.S. Economy Preview

The housing market took another step back in June as construction and purchases dropped, and a gauge of the outlook for growth signaled the expansion will lose steam, economists said before reports this week.

Builders began work on 580,000 houses last month at an annual rate, down 2.2 percent from May and the slowest pace this year, according to the median estimate of 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before Commerce Department data due July 20. Other reports may show sales of existing homes decreased for a second month and the index of leading indicators declined for the first time in more than a year.