Showing posts from November, 2009

Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rise for Fourth Month

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose for a fourth straight month in September, pointing to improvement in real estate that’s helping the economy emerge from recession. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index increased 0.27 percent from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis, after a 1.13 percent rise in August, the group said today in New York. The gauge fell 9.36 percent from September 2008, more than forecast, yet the smallest year-over-year decline since the end of 2007. Rising home sales, aided by government programs and a decline in mortgage rates this year, have helped stem the slump in property values that precipitated the worst recession since the 1930s. Home buying and consumer spending may still be hampered by higher unemployment, which may prompt more foreclosures. “The reduction of inventories we have seen has helped stabilize prices,” said Michael Gregory , a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “The reason you have to be a lit


Dodd: A “Double Victory” for Connecticut Workers and Middle Class Families WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chris Dodd's legislation to extend the homebuyer’s tax credit and expand it to more middle class families passed the Senate tonight as part of a bill that will also extend unemployment insurance. Dodd was an original co-sponsor of the bill, which will provide 14 additional weeks of jobless benefits for Connecticut workers. “This is a double victory for families in Connecticut ,” said Dodd. “Extending unemployment insurance benefits will help Connecticut families make ends meet in a tough economy. And thousands more middle class Connecticut residents may now be eligible to take advantage of the successful homebuyer’s tax credit. By helping unemployed workers keep from falling further behind, and helping middle class families get ahead, we’re taking positive steps to get our economy back on track.” Dodd was joined by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in support of extending th

Fed Sees No Need to Raise Rates Soon

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve signaled on Wednesday that it was not close to raising interest rates, saying the economy remained weak even though the recession appeared to be over. In a statement after a two-day policy meeting, the central bank said it would keep its benchmark interest rate at virtually zero, repeating its long-standing mantra that economic conditions were likely to warrant “exceptionally low” rates for “an extended period.” For practical purposes, analysts said, that means policy makers are still at least six months away from tightening monetary policy. It was unclear whether Fed policymakers even discussed modifying their language on interest rates, which would be a first step toward a shift in policy. Some officials have worried that even discussing a change in language, which would be disclosed when minutes of the meeting are published two weeks from now, would send the premature signal that higher rates were imminent. “Economic activity has contin