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Data: Census Bureau via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

America is finally starting to make a dent in its housing shortage, according to new figures released by the Census Bureau on Friday.

Why it matters: When fewer than 1.5 million new homes are built in any given year, the national housing shortage only gets worse.

  • In March, new houses started being built at an annualized rate of 1.74 million homes.
  • That's the highest number in 15 years.

Go deeper

U.S. retail sales jumped nearly 10% in March

Shoppers in San Francisco. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retail sales in the U.S. surged 9.8% in March as shoppers increased spending across several categories, including in-store shopping, restaurant dining and online purchases, the Census Bureau revealed in a new report Thursday.

Why it matters: It was the biggest monthly boost in retail spending since May 2020 — bouncing back from a dip in February — helped by the latest round of stimulus checks, the ramped-up vaccination effort and the economic reopening.

Report: Climate change is an "emerging threat" to U.S. economic stability

A firefighter watches an airplane drop fire retardant ahead of the Alisal fire near Goleta on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A top U.S. financial coordinating organization took several steps on Thursday to manage the growing risks that climate change poses to the U.S. financial system.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has been taking an all-of-government approach to climate change, like factoring climate risk into planning at the Treasury Department, today's moves by the politically independent Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) carry significant weight.

44 mins ago - World

"I assume full responsibility," Duterte says of drug war

Rodrigo Duterte in 2017. Photo: Linus Escandor II/AFP via Getty Images

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he assumes full responsibility for a violent war on drugs that has killed thousands of people, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Last month the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Duterte's war on drugs.