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Japan August housing starts +8.8 pct yr/yr -govt

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Housing starts in Japan rose 8.8

percent in August from a year earlier, government data showed on

Monday, compared to economists' median estimate for a 12.7

percent annual gain, as a buying rush ahead of a planned sales

tax hike next April boosted orders.

Orders received by 50 major construction companies in August

rose 21.4 percent from a year earlier, data by the Ministry of

Land, Infrastructure and Transport showed.

To view the full tables, click on the ministry's website