9/18/2009

A series of upbeat reports provided promising signs of economic recovery. Housing starts and demand for permits reached nine-month highs in August, with housing starts up 1.5% from July, according to the Commerce Department, although construction of single-family homes fell 3% in the same period. The Labor Department reported that first-time filings for unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 last week to 545,000, the lowest level since early July. Industrial production in the mid-Atlantic region increased this month to the highest level since June 2007, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said.

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