A monthly report on the number of residential building permits issued in the United States during the previous month. The report is divided into geographic regions and then by single and multi-family units. Investors typically interpret steady growth in building permit numbers as an indication that Americans have confidence in the economy and their own personal financial positions. Likewise, they watch the month-to-month and year-over-year trend for any indication of weakness that might suggest a spending contraction on the part of consumers. The building permits report is released by the Bureau of the Census in the middle of each month and is announced on various financial news and research Web sites. It is also available at the Census Bureau's Web site at www.census.gov. See housing starts.
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