US house prices up but factory output suffers

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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e prices in the US are nearly back up to the peak they hit before the 2007-8 financial crisis, according to figures released yesterday, while slow manufacturing data reflects the impact of weak global growth on the US economy.

Prices climbed 0.6 per cent in July compared with June, according to figures published yesterday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It takes annual growth to 5.8 per cent, continuing a recovery in US house prices, which are often used as a gauge of the health of the domestic economy.

The level of prices is now only 1.1 per cent below its March 2007 peak.

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region slowed this month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said yesterday.

The index for manufacturing dropped to a score of minus five, indicating that the sector as a whole is contracting.

The strength of the US economy relative to most of the rest of the world has caused the dollar to rise in value this year. This has made US-produced goods more expensive in foreign markets, hindering the expansion of manufacturers.