Jun 16, 2010 8:57 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Home construction plunged last month to the lowest level since December as builders scaled back without a federal tax credit to lure buyers.
Building permits also fell, a sign the construction industry won't fuel the economic recovery.
The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments fell 10 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000. April's figure was revised downward to 659,000.
The results were driven by a 17 percent decline in the single-family market, which had benefited earlier in the year from federal tax credits of up to $8,000.
Applications for new building permits, a sign of future activity, also fell. They sank 5.9 percent to an annual rate of 574,000, the lowest level in a year.
The stock market is not pleased with the news.