Groundbreaking for new U.S. home construction slowed in July, falling 1.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 581,000 units as building permits dropped 1.8% to an annual rate of 560,000 units, according to Commerce Department data released today.

The rate for housing starts missed the 600,000 level predicted by Thomson Reuters' poll of economists. Thomson had projected a 580,000 rate for permits.

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