US housing starts saw a jump in May. The Commerce Department said housing starts soared by 5% to an annual rate of 1.350 million in May after tumbling by 3.1% to a revised rate of 1.286 million in April. With the latest increase, housing starts reached their highest annual rate since hitting 1.354 million in July of 2007. Single-family starts jumped by 3.9% to 936,000, while multi-family starts surged by 7.5% to 414,00. However, the Commerce Department said building permits dropped by 4.6% to an annual rate of 1.301 million in May after falling by 0.9% to a revised rate of 1.364 million in April. Building permits are an imporant an indicator of future housing demand.