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US housing industry slides 22% in March

The nation's housing industry is in a slump nearly as deep as it was in the 1975 recession, figures from the Department of Commerce indicated Wednesday. Housing starts, or the number of dwellings on which construction had begun, slid by 22 percent in March to an annual rate of 1.04 million. Not since 1975, when the most severe recession since World War II hit the industry, had construction sagged so dramatically, a department spokesmen said.