FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Starts of new houses have dropped well beyond expectations in the US in December, after a sharp increase on the previous month, although the outlook for construction activity has improved with building permits increasing sharply.

U.S new home starts have dropped 4.0% in December to a seasonally adjusted rate of 557,000 units per year, a well sharper decline than the 0.2% drop expected by the analysts. November Housing starts have been revised to a 10.7% increase, from the 8.3% increase previously estimated.

The outlook for construction activity seems quite brighter, however, as building permits increased by 10.9% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 653,000 in December.