Photo via Wikimedia.

Photo via Wikimedia.

New home construction rose slightly in March while building permits fell, presenting a mixed back of data for the construction industry that relies heavily on medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

So-called new home starts rose 2.8 percent above February's level, hitting an annual pace of 946,000 homes, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report. However, the March construction activity was 5.9 percent less than March 2013, which recorded an annual rate of just over 1 million.

Single-family units rose 6 percent while multi-family units fell 3.1 percent.

At the same time, the number of building permits issued fell 2.4 percent in March. Permit activity remains 11.2 percent higher than a year ago.

New home starts during March rose the most in the Midwest, increasing 65.5 percent from February's level, while also gaining 30.7 percent in the Northeast. Activity slowed 9.1 percent in the South and 4.5 percent in the West.

Read the full report here.