Thursday, January 18, 2007

Low Inflation, Low Unemployment, and Strong Housing Starts - Good News Comes in 3's Today

There is a lot of data this morning regarding the health of the U.S. economy. Three of the major indicators were quite positive.

Excerpts from the Associated Press

Inflation is Tame

"WASHINGTON -- The Labor Department reported Thursday that consumer prices rose by 2.5 percent in 2006, the best showing since prices had increased by just 1.9 percent in 2003. The improvement came in spite of the fact that consumer prices jumped 0.5 percent in December, as gasoline prices staged a momentary rebound."

Jobs are Strong

In other economic news, the number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 290,000 last week, the lowest level in 11 months and an indication that the labor market began the new year in good shape in spite of weakness in housing and auto manufacturing.

Housing Continues to Rebound

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that construction of new homes rose by 4.5 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.642 million units, raising hopes that the worst of the housing slowdown may be coming to an end.

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