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U.S. Building Permits Soared to Their Highest Level in Nearly Eight Years

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Through all its ups and downs, the U.S. homebuilding industry is making slow progress.

While housing starts declined 11.1 percent in May to a 1.04 million annualized rate, it followed a revised 1.17 million pace the prior month to cap the best back-to-back readings since late 2007, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday in Washington. Permits for future projects climbed to the highest level in almost eight years.