U.S. homebuilding drops unexpectedly in September

WASHINGTON — Homebuilding in the U.S. declined more than expected in September, dragged by lower activity in the southern states as they felt the effect of Hurricane Florence. Housing starts fell 5.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million units, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Building permits fell for the second month in a row, for a SAAR of 1.24 million units (-0.6%). Economists polled by Reuters expected starts to fall to a rate of 1.22 million.