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Reports: US Foreclosures, Import Prices Fall

  • VOA News

FILE - U.S. housing market continues recovery, with foreclosures in September down sharply from the same period a year earlier. D.R. Horton home building project in San Marcos, California July 28, 2015.

FILE - U.S. housing market continues recovery, with foreclosures in September down sharply from the same period a year earlier. D.R. Horton home building project in San Marcos, California July 28, 2015.

The U.S. housing market continues recovery, with foreclosures in September down sharply from the same period a year earlier.

Tuesday's data from CoreLogic shows a drop of 17.6 percent. But that still means there were 55,000 homes where owners could not repay the mortgage loans. Severe problems in the housing sector played a key role in the financial crisis.

Another study of business confidence held steady as more small firms said they plan to buy business equipment, expect higher prices for their goods and indicate it is a good time to expand.

The report by the National Federation of Independent Business was tempered by a decline in the number saying they plan to hire new workers.

Meantime, government experts report prices for imported gasoline and other goods continued falling in October.

Falling prices for both imports and exports reflect low global commodity prices and the strong value of the dollar, which gives American consumers more goods for their money. But the strong dollar also means U.S.-made goods are more expensive and less competitive on global markets.

Falling prices are among the many economic issues under review by top officials of the U.S. central bank, which may raise interest rates later this month for the first time in many years. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to give a public speech Thursday about the Fed's efforts to maintain stable prices and full employment in the wake of the financial crisis.

Also this week, the University of Michigan will report on consumer confidence, and a survey of economists is predicting a slight improvement.

Friday we will get another look at inflation in October at the wholesale level. A survey of economists by the Bloomberg financial news service predicts a slight increase in cost of goods.

Friday is also when new retail sales data comes out. Analysts predict a modest gain in the October figures. Economists watch retail sales closely because consumer demand drives most U.S. economic activity.

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