U. S. home construction rebounded in July, while the latest data show inflation was relatively tame.
Tuesday's report from the Commerce Department says construction jumped 15.7 percent in July, the strongest showing in eight months. The gains followed a couple of months of declines.
Investors and economists watch the housing market closely because severe problems in this area were a key cause of the recession.
A separate report from the Labor Department says prices rose very slightly (one-tenth of one percent) in July from the previous month.
Rising food prices were largely offset by falling energy costs. In the 12-month period ending in July, U.S. prices rose two percent, which is a slightly lower rate of inflation than recent months.
The U.S. central bank is trying to keep inflation around two percent.