New-home sales fall, durable goods rise

Sales of newly built U.S. homes fell for a fourth straight month to a record low in February, but another rise in orders for durable goods offered assurance that the economic recovery was on course. The mixed data underscored that although growth continues, laggards such as housing and the labor market are standing in the way of a full recovery. Single-family home sales fell 2.2 percent, to a 308,000 unit annual rate, the Commerce Department said. In a second report, the department said new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods increased 0.5 percent in February, rising for the third straight month, and January's figures were revised upward to show a 3.9 percent increase. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.9 percent in February after falling 0.6 percent in the previous month. - Reuters


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