Sales of new homes in the United States fell for the third consecutive month in July.
The Commerce Department said sales fell 0.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, from a revised 300,000 in June,.
The new figures were worse than analysts had expected. They represent a five-month low.
The BBC reports high unemployment and a weak house market are undermining the US recovery.
An oversupply of used homes and a large stock of foreclosed housing is also putting a strain on the market.
New homes represent less than one-fifth of the housing market, but have a large impact on the economy.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, each creates an average of three jobs and $US90,000 in taxes.