Tuesday, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport reported that housing starts dropped 24.9% year-on-year in February, after declining 18.7% in January. Economists expected a drop of 17.6%. This was the third consecutive month of decline in housing starts.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the annualized housing starts totaled 866,000 in February, down from 957,000 in January.

Construction orders received by the 50 big contractors slipped 24.9% in February, at a slower pace compared to a 38.3% drop in the previous month.

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