Investing.com - The number of building permits issues in the U.S. fell more-than-expected in January, underlining concerns over the strength of the economy, official data showed Wednesday.
In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued last month declined by 5.4% to a seasonally adjusted 937,000 units from December’s total of 991,000. Analysts expected building permits to fall by 1.8% to 980,000 units in January.
The report also showed that U.S. housing starts plunged by 16% in January to hit a seasonally adjusted 880,000 units from December’s total of 1.048 million, disappointing expectations for a 5.7% drop to 950,000 units.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.09% to trade at 1.3747, compared to 1.3749 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets remained lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a loss of 0.25% at the open, S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop of 0.3% and Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 0.25%.