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Statement of Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank on July New Residential Construction

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Statement of Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank on July New Residential Construction

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census today released data on new residential construction in July. Starts for single-family homes increased 1.7 percent, while overall permits to build privately-owned housing units declined 1.8 percent and housing starts decreased 1.0 percent.

Despite the overall decrease, total permits have risen 12.4 percent from their low in April, after plummeting a total of 78.0 percent between September 2005 and April 2009. Additionally, total starts have increased 21.3 percent, after falling 78.9 percent from their peak in January 2006 to their low in April 2009.

“Monthly data for housing activity are volatile but today’s nominal decline stands as a reminder that the economy is still fragile,” U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. “Looking at the big picture, we are confident that we’ve created the stability necessary to turn things around. As we double Recovery Act spending in the second half of the year, and with every new project we start, we are one step closer to getting there.”