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Jul 31, 2015

U.S. employment costs post smallest gain on record in second-quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years amid tepid gains in the private sector, but it likely was a temporary setback against the backdrop of diminishing labor market slack.

The unexpectedly smaller rise reported by the Labor Department on Friday will probably not dampen speculation that the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates later this year. The U.S. labor market is fast approaching full employment.

Jul 31, 2015

U.S. employment costs post smallest gain on record in Q2

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – U.S. labor costs in the
second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years amid
tepid gains in the private sector, but it likely was a temporary
setback against the backdrop of diminishing labor market slack.

The unexpectedly smaller rise reported by the Labor
Department on Friday will probably not dampen speculation that
the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates later this
year. The U.S. labor market is fast approaching full employment.

Jul 30, 2015

Consumer spending bolsters U.S. second-quarter growth

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – U.S. economic growth
accelerated in the second quarter as solid consumer spending
offset the drag from weak business spending on equipment,
suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal
Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual
rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. First-quarter
GDP, previously reported to have shrunk at a 0.2 percent pace,
was revised up to show it rising at a 0.6 percent rate.

Jul 30, 2015

U.S. believes no structural issues in GDP data construction

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. government believes
there are no structural problems in the way it calculates gross
domestic product estimates, though defense spending was found to
have contributed to overstating third-quarter growth over the
past three years.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the government agency that
constructs GDP data, said this week it had looked at GDP data
from 2012 to 2014, the first phase in addressing residual
seasonality in data resulting from the seasonal adjustment’s
failure to fully strip out seasonal patterns.

Jul 30, 2015

U.S. second-quarter GDP seen rebounding on consumer spending, housing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. economic growth likely accelerated in the second quarter as a pick-up in consumer spending and housing offset the drag from trade and the energy sector, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

The government is expected to report on Thursday that gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 percent annual rate, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Jul 29, 2015

Weak home purchase contracts hint at pause in sales activity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. houses unexpectedly fell in June after five straight months of increase, suggesting some cooling in home resales activity after recent hefty gains.

The decline in contracts, which came on the heels of reports showing the pace of home price appreciation stalling in major cities and new home sales dropping, did little to change perceptions that the housing market recovery was on track given a tightening labor market.

Jul 28, 2015

U.S. homeownership hits 35 year-low, renting in vogue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. homeownership dropped to a 35-year low in the second quarter as more Americans opted to rent, but the decline in ownership was probably close to running its course against the backdrop of a tightening labor market.

The seasonally adjusted home ownership rate fell to 63.5 percent, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. This is the lowest for the seasonally adjusted series which started in 1980.

Jul 27, 2015

U.S. business capex gauge rebound offers hope for factories

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) – A gauge of U.S. business
investment plans rebounded solidly in June after two straight
months of declines, suggesting the drag on manufacturing from
capital spending cuts was starting to ebb.

The signs of a slight improvement in factory activity are a
boost to the economic growth outlook heading into the second
half of the year and support views the Federal Reserve will
raise interest rates later this year.

Jul 27, 2015

U.S. business capital spending gauge rebounds in boost for factories

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A gauge of U.S. business investment plans rebounded solidly in June, suggesting the drag on manufacturing from capital spending cuts was starting to ebb.

The slightly upbeat report bolsters the economic growth outlook and supports views the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year. The Fed’s policy-setting committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jul 24, 2015

U.S. new home sales at seven-month low; manufacturing stabilizes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. single-family home sales fell in June to a seven-month low and May’s sales were revised sharply down, but the data on Friday did little to change the belief that the housing market recovery was shifting into higher gear.

Sales of new homes account for only 8.1 percent of the housing market and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. June’s surprise decline and the May revisions also are at odds with other housing data that have shown strong momentum.