Japan's housing starts continued to decline in February, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Friday.
Housing starts decreased 2.6 percent year-on-year in February, but slower than the 13.2 percent decline seen in January. Economists had forecast a bigger decline of 4.2 percent.
Annualized housing starts totaled 926,000 in February versus 856,000 in the previous month and the expected level of 912,000.
Data also showed that construction orders received by big 50 contractors logged a sharp growth of 19.2 percent after gaining 0.9 percent in January.