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Aug 21, 2014

U.S. housing, jobs data bolster economic outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home resales rose to a 10-month high in July and the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, signaling strength in the economy early in the third quarter.

The growth outlook was further buoyed by other reports on Thursday showing factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region hit its highest level since March 2011 in August while a gauge of future economic activity increased solidly last month.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. jobless claims fall, bolster labor market outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly more than expected last week, pointing to a sustained improvement in labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Aug. 16, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Aug 19, 2014

U.S. housing market improving, inflation pressures muted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. housing starts rebounded strongly in July, pointing to momentum in the economy, but a moderate increase in consumer prices suggested the Federal Reserve has room to keep interest rates low for a while.

Groundbreaking surged 15.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual 1.09-million unit pace, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, snapping two straight months of declines.

Aug 15, 2014

Robust manufacturing output buoys U.S. economic outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing output rose broadly in July and automobile production recorded its largest increase in five years, boosting the economy at the start of the third quarter.

While other data on Friday showed some cooling in factory activity in New York state this month, economists said it did not change the view of an economy with strong momentum, noting that the pullback followed a robust increase in July.

Aug 15, 2014

Falling gasoline prices dampen U.S. producer inflation

WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – U.S. producer prices rose
marginally in July as a decline in the cost of energy goods
offset higher food prices, pointing to a moderation of inflation
pressures at the factory gate.

Other data on Friday showed some cooling in factory activity
in New York state this month after July’s brisk expansion.

Aug 14, 2014

U.S. jobless claims up, but trend favors strong labor market

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but will probably do little to change views that the labor market was strengthening.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000 for the week ended Aug. 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday, above economists’ expectations for a rise to only 295,000.

Aug 13, 2014

Weak retail sales point to slowdown in U.S. consumer spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales, which had increased 0.2 percent in June, were held back by a second straight month of declines in receipts at auto dealers, as well as weak sales of furniture and electronics and appliances.

Aug 12, 2014

Fresh data shows U.S. jobs market tightening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The share of unemployed Americans competing for each open job hit a six-year low in June, suggesting a labor market tightening that could give way to faster wage growth.

The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released on Tuesday gave an upbeat assessment of the job market that could sharpen the debate on the timing of the first interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve.

Aug 8, 2014

U.S. productivity rebounds in second quarter, wage inflation muted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. nonfarm productivity rebounded more strongly than expected in the second quarter, but a sharp slowdown in unit labor costs pointed to still-tame wage pressures that could give the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while.

The Labor Department said on Friday productivity increased at a 2.5 percent annual rate after contracting at a revised 4.5 percent pace in the first quarter, which was the fastest decline since the fourth quarter of 1981.

Aug 7, 2014

U.S. jobless claims fall; four-week average hits 8-1/2-year low

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a further strengthening of labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000 for the week ended Aug. 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday.