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U.S. home construction drops 30.2% in April as virus rages

U.S. home construction drops 30.2% in April as virus rages

WASHINGTON — U.S. home building plunged again in April, taken down by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department said May 19 that groundbreakings plummeted 30.2 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000. Construction of single-family homes dropped 25.4 per cent to an annual rate of 650,000.

The lockdowns and travel restrictions designed to contain the pandemic have brought economic life to a near standstill. The unemployment rate is 14.7 per cent, highest since the Great Depression.

The construction slump is likely to continue. Building permits for new housing dropped 20.8 per cent to an annual rate of 1.07 million.

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