Trade War Hits Home Construction in U.S. Factory Counties (1)

Aug. 28, 2019, 1:24 PM; Updated: Aug. 28, 2019, 6:48 PM

Homebuilders are pulling back from U.S. manufacturing areas as shots fired in President Donald Trump’s trade war begin to ricochet across the economic landscape.

In major manufacturing counties, permits to build single-family houses declined 3.8% in the second quarter from a year earlier, compared with 10% annual growth in the same period of 2017, according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders. Non-manufacturing areas also cooled, but not as sharply.

The permit slowdown in factory towns began in early 2018 as the Trump administration’s tough talk about China and other trading partners intensified, adding to the kind...

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