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U.S. new-home construction fell in September on a decline in the South that may reflect disruptions from Hurricane Florence, government figures showed Wednesday.

Highlights of Housing Starts (September) Residential starts dropped 5.3% to 1.201m annualized rate (est. 1.21m) after downwardly revised 1.268m pace in prior month Multifamily home starts fell 15.2%; single-family declined 0.9% Permits, a proxy for future construction of all types of homes, slipped 0.6% to 1.241m rate (est. 1.275m) after 1.249m pace; reflects decline in multifamily permits.

Analysts had forecast a decline in housing starts after Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14, caused damage and flooding throughout the Carolinas. Those states are part of the report’s South region, which accounts for about half of starts and showed a 13.7% drop from the prior month. Hurricane Michael, which struck Florida and other southeastern states last week, will probably affect activity in October.

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