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US data indicates upturn

The US economy is on a moderate growth path and inflation pressures are contained, data showed yesterday. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to 457,000 last week, the US Labour department said, suggesting the jobs market was improving, but only gradually. In another report, the department said the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in February after rising 0.2 per cent the prior month. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the closely watched core measure of consumer inflation inched up 0.1 per cent after falling the same amount in January.