US housing starts plunge despite upbeat housebuilder confidence

US housing starts have dropped like a rock despite expectations of improvement in June. Housing starts fell from 0.928m (revised from 0.914m) to 0.836m despite forecasts of an increase to 0.960m.

This conflicts somewhat with housebuilder confidence data seen yesterday, the NAHB Housing Market index hit a January 2006 high, with its index of prospective buyers at 45, the highest since November 2005.