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U.S. May housing starts rise less than expected

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. homebuilding increased less than expected in May, leaving the bulk of the prior months' declines intact and pointing to a slow housing market recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Housing starts rose 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 units, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.095 million units for May.

Homebuilding had declined to 934,000 units in April. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; editing by Jason Neely)