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US Home Sales Drop Sharply


Housing sales in the United States dropped sharply in July, hitting their lowest level in 15 years.

Tuesday's report from a business group, the National Association of Realtors, says the number of previously owned homes sold fell more than 27 percent from the previous month.

While sales were down, the average price for a home increased slightly over the same period one year ago.

Economists watch the housing market closely because severe problems in this sector helped start the recent economic crisis.

Several economic reports are scheduled for publication later this week. Economists surveyed by the Bloomberg financial news service predict that measures of future factory activity and the job market will improve, while a separate gauge will show the overall economy growing more slowly.

Later Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to release a progress report on the administration's efforts to revive the economy.

The country's economic performance and the unemployment rate will be a key issue in congressional elections in November.

On Tuesday, the top Republican in the House of Representatives called for President Barack Obama's entire economic team to resign. Representative John Boehner said during a speech in the midwestern U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio, that the country needs a new approach to its economic problems.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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