Florida, Michigan, California, Nevada and Arizona have been hit hardest by the housing market decline, and only a few states and a small group of metro areas are showing an increased rate of housing production compared to 2005, according to a report by the chief economist for a builders' trade group. "The economic expansion has lost some momentum, and the slowdown in GDP growth is taking a toll on the labor market -- due largely to the deepening housing contraction," David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, stated in his report, released last week. The downturn in single-family housing activity "already is as serious as the recession-related downswing of the early 1990s, and our forecast suggests that the current contraction will serious challenge the early-1980s setback by the time the bottom of this housing cycle is reached around mid-2008." "Even so, the U.S. economy is not skating dangerously close to outright recession at this time a...
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