Japan Feb housing starts up 10.1 pct yr/yr -govt

 (For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP])	
 TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Housing starts in Japan rose 10.1 percent in February from a
year earlier, rising for the ninth straight month, land ministry data showed on Thursday, helped
by government tax breaks for purchases of energy-efficient homes and a gradual improvement in
the economy. 	
 But the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan earlier this month will
likely hurt housing starts temporarily before rebuilding efforts start.	
 The rise was bigger than a median market forecast for a 7.2 percent increase, and followed a
2.7 percent rise in January.	
 Orders received by 50 major construction companies rose 19.5 percent in February from a year
earlier, land ministry data also showed. 	
 To view the full tables, go to the official website of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure
and Transport: 
 http://www.mlit.go.jp/toukeijouhou/chojou/stat-e.htm	
	
 (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)	
 	
 

Japan Feb housing starts up 10.1 pct yr/yr -govt