Housing starts in the U.S. fell in the month of August which when combined with other factors including retail sales and nonfarm payrolls will likely lead the U.S. central bank to leave interest rates unchanged. Reuters staffer Lucia Mutikani reports that single-family housing starts in the South (a bulk of the home building) fell 13.1% to their lowest level since May 2015.

An increase in permits for single-family dwellings show that demand remains high. Flooding in Texas and Louisiana is believed to be the culprit behind this drop:

"We believe that the slowdown in August starts likely owes to a temporary weather effect rather than a substantive shift in the underlying trend," said Rob Martin, an economist at Barclays in New York. "Excluding the South, housing starts increased a robust 4.2 percent."

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