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Posted: Tuesday, August 26th 2014 at 9:55am

US home price gains slow in June; durable good orders up sharply in July

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June but durable good orders were up sharply in July.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 8.1 percent in June from 12 months earlier. That's down from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the smallest annual gain since December 2012.

Yearly price growth weakened in all 20 cities. Home values in Cleveland nudged up just 0.8 percent. Las Vegas led with a 15.2 percent gain. But prices in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa, Florida, are still at least 33 percent below their housing bubble peaks from almost a decade ago.

The deceleration should ease price pressures on would-be buyers. After slumping at the start of 2014, existing-home sales have picked up as price gains have slowed. But buying remains 4.3 percent below the July 2013 level.

DURABLE GOOD ORDERS JUMP

Business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods shot up by the largest amount on record in July. But most of the strength came from demand for commercial aircraft, which tends to fluctuate sharply from month to month. Outside of transportation, orders dipped.

Despite the broader weakness in July, most analysts say factory output will likely support solid economic growth in the second half of this year.

Orders for durable goods rose 22.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The strength came from a 318 percent increase in orders for civilian aircraft, which helped lift orders for transportation equipment by a record 74.2 percent.

Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.8 percent. And a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans dropped 0.5 percent. Still, that followed a sizable 5.4 percent rise in the previous month.

After going into reverse during the first three months of the year, in large part because of the severe winter, the U.S. economy rebounded in the April-June quarter, growing at a solid annual rate of 4 percent as measured by the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services.

The jump in commercial aircraft orders reflected a good month for Boeing, which reported 324 orders for new aircraft in July, up from 109 orders in June. And this week, the company said it received an $8.8 billion order from an aircraft leasing company based in Singapore.

Automakers also had a good month in July, with orders for motor vehicles and parts rise by 10.2 percent after a 1.3 percent drop in June.
Associated Categories: National News, Business News, Local/State News

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