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Housing rise not enough: copper industry

Keywords: Tags  housing, construction, housing permits, copper, Edward Meir, INTL FC Stone, Everdeen Mason

NEW YORK — New home construction permits were up 20.8 percent last month compared with a year earlier, but sources say it is not a strong enough recovery from the recession years.

New housing permits were issued at an annual rate of 974,000 in May, up from 806,000 a year ago but still well below the annual rate of more than 1.49 million permits in May 2007 and nearly 1.91 million in May 2006, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Copper consumers told AMM that while the increase in new permits is a good sign, the numbers are not enough to have a major effect on the copper industry. "You have to remember, while it’s up it was so low (during the recession). Until it’s up 30 to 40 percent you won’t see a dramatic effect," one consumer source said.

"We haven’t hit peak levels yet. It’s climbing, but we’re still not where we were in 2006 or 2007," INTL FC Stone LLC analyst Edward Meir said.

Others claimed that the effects of a recent boom in construction are delayed. "We’re hopeful that at some point down the road the ripple effect (of new construction) should trickle down to us," a second copper consumer source said.

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