US house starts in healthy rise

US HOUSEBUILDERS were heartened yesterday as a Commerce Department report showed new builds rose 17.2 per cent in May, the biggest gain in three months. Homes built for single families rose 7.5 per cent – the largest gain since January 2006.

But a report from central bank the Federal Reserve said US industrial production slid a steeper-than-expected 1.1 per cent in May compared to the prior month. The Labour Department said US producer prices rose by less than expected in May – by 0.2 per cent compared to 0.3 per cent in April.