US home sales soar again yet total jobless claims edge up

 
Ben Southwood
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THE RECOVERY in the US housing market had another stellar month in February, while figures for last week showed new dole claims inched up slightly.

Sales of existing homes were 4.98m last month, according to numbers released by the US National Association of Realtors yesterday, up 0.8 per cent on January’s total and a full 10.2 per cent above last February’s sales – in the 20th straight month recording annual sales growth.

This total was the biggest for a month since November 2009, when there was a special tax holiday.

Meanwhile, figures from the Department of Labor showed that total insured unemployment claims had fallen 64,575 in the first full week of March, though this amounted to a 5,000 rise when accounting for seasonal variations. The four-week moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, fell 7,500 to 339,750, its lowest level since February 2008.