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Housing Starts in U.S. Rose 7.2% in March to 549,000 Pace

A gain in March housing starts failed to make up for ground lost the prior month, as U.S. home builders continue to struggle almost two years into the economic recovery.

Work began on 549,000 houses at an annual pace, up 7.2 percent from the prior month and exceeding the 520,000 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Starts fell 19 percent in February to the lowest level in almost two years.