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Report: Week Ahead Likely to Spotlight Housing as Drag on Recovery

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Experts are looking ahead to this week's economic reports, as likely to spotlight the housing slump as a continuing drag on economic recovery.  Emphasis shifted during the recession from housing to unemployment as the main culprit in slowing down recovery, but with housing still in the numerical dungeon, analysts are re-focusing there.

On Wednesday, the government will release the Housing Starts data for December.  Marketwatch reports that construction permit applications are at their lowest level since April 2009.  Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors, told the website that construction is weak because the foreclosure crisis has hit hardest in regions where construction would naturally be strong. He said that keeps builders from starting new projects.

On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors will release the latest figures on existing home sales.  A slight rise in sales is expected, but at 3.2 percent it's just enough to bring the number to the depressed levels of 2007 and 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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