US builders in July probably broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in eight months, a sign the housing market is healing as the economic contraction eases, analysts said before a government report today.

Housing starts rose 2.7% to an annual rate of 598,000, the third straight increase, according to the median forecast of 69 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report may show wholesale prices fell in July as weak demand and lower energy costs kept inflation in check.