While the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a rebound in new U.S. residential construction in the month of March, housing starts still came in well below economist estimates for the month.

The report said housing starts rose 2.0 percent to an annual rate of 926,000 in March after tumbling 15.3 percent to a rate of 908,000 in February. Economists had been expecting housing starts to jump to a rate of 1.04 million.

The Commerce Department also said building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, fell 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.039 million in March from the revised February rate of 1.102 million. Building permits had been expected to edge down to 1.085 million.

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