U.S. housing starts drop in December

WASHINGTON — U.S. housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, down 9.8% from November but up 1.6% from December 2012. Housing starts for the full year increased 18.3%, to 923,400. Building permits in December were down 3.0% seasonally adjusted from November to 986,000, but up 4.6% from December 2012.