U.S. jobs, housing, price data paint a mixed picture

09/26/2013 | Reuters

Initial claims for U.S. jobless benefits declined last week to 305,000, but contracts for the sale of existing homes also fell, indicating that higher interest rates may be tamping down the vital housing market. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported consumer prices declined in the second quarter for the first time in four years. Taken together, the jobs, housing and price data create a conflicting economic picture and no sure direction for Federal Reserve policy.

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