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Housing starts rose for the first time since June 2007, government data showed Friday in a sign that the world’s second-largest economy is recovering from the building slump driven by a change in construction regulations.

Ground broken on new homes and condominiums rose 19 percent in July from a year earlier, after falling 16.7 percent in June, the land ministry said. The median estimate of 29 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 15 percent gain.

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