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Eurozone’s Business Growth Slows Slightly In February

BRUSSELS, Feb. 20 (UPI) — A flash estimate of the eurozone’s purchasing managers index indicated growth slowed, but only fractionally, in February, Markit Economics said Thursday. The PMI Composite Index slipped from 52.9 in January to 52.7, Markit said. Figures above 50 indicate growth, while below 50 indicates contraction. Markit said the new orders growth […]

Monthly Home Payments Climb, While Incomes Stagnate

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 20 (UPI) — Monthly payments on U.S. homes jumped 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a year earlier, a survey of 325 counties found. Online housing marketplace and research firm RealtyTrac said Thursday that the payment bump was the result of a 10 percent average gain in the median […]

Japan’s January Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.3 Billion

TOKYO, Feb. 20 (UPI) — Japan’s trade deficit in January soared to a record 2.79 trillion yen ($27.3 billion) as import costs surged due to a weaker yen, the government said Thursday. The January figure was the first time the monthly deficit went over the 2 trillion yen mark. It was also 70.8 percent higher […]

Fed Policymakers Reconsidering Unemployment Target

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Federal Reserve’s minutes for the late January policy meeting reflect unease within the Open Market Committee with the current unemployment target. The Fed has kept its Federal funds rate, the overnight rate it charges banks for borrowing, at zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. It has since pointed to 6.5 […]

Producer Price Index Up Modestly In January

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. final demand producer price index — previously called the finished goods index — rose 0.2 percent in January, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The department said it shifted to a final demand-intermediate demand system aggregation system to include prices producers received in services, construction, government purchases and exports, which were […]

Housing Starts Slid Sharply In January

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Housing construction starts dropped sharply in January, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday. Adding to a recent string of disappointing economic reports, the department’s Census Bureau News said housing starts dropped 16 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000. Economists had expected a rate of 950,000. In addition, […]

Capital One’s New Contract Raises Privacy Concerns

MCLEAN, Va. (UPI) — A Capital One’s representative said as “a last resort” in select cases the U.S. financial company would send an agent to a consumer’s home. The new contract language for Capital One says the company has the right to send someone to a customer’s home or their place of employment and to […]

Borrowing Is On The Rise

NEW YORK (UPI) — Borrowing rose by $241 billion in the final quarter of 2013, the biggest bounce since before the recession, the New York Federal Reserve said Tuesday. Borrowing rose 2.1 percent from the third quarter to $11.52 trillion, the Fed said. Just as stock markets were reaching new heights, consumer confidence allowed for […]

Default Rates On Loans Improved In January

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. default rates on mortgage and car loans fell in January, while credit card defaults rose slightly, Standard & Poor’s and Experian said Tuesday. The default rate for first mortgages fell from 1.27 percent in December to 1.26 percent in January. For second mortgages, the default rate eased back to 0.72 […]

U.S. Builders’ Confidence Holds Above Break Even

WASHINGTON (UPI) — A U.S. builders’ confidence index slipped one point, but held above the break-even point of 50, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday. The index dropped from a revised December reading of 57 to 56 in January. Any figure above 50 indicates more builders are optimistic than pessimistic about business conditions. […]

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