U.S. residential construction outlook improves

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A March report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that new residential construction is on its way up, with permits for new housing units climbing 7.5 percent from February and housing starts increasing 1.6 percent during the same time period nationwide. Overall, permits have climbed 37.9 percent and housing starts have jumped 30.7 percent from their all-time low points in April 2009. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said optimism is in order, but that federal officials must remain vigilant. “Housing data can be volatile,” Locke said. “The outlook is positive, but President Obama understands there is much work left to ensure continued economic growth.” TRD

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