US Economy

     (CN) – New home sales in the United States last month jumped to the highest level in more than 8 years, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday.
     The department said new home sales jumped 16.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 the highest level since January 2008 and up from 531,000 in the previous month.
     March’s total was also revised higher Tuesday.
     Federal economists credited a combination of rising employment and low mortgage rates with encouraging people to buy new homes.
     During April, new home purchases rose most dramatically in the Northeast, which saw a 53 percent jump in transactions. New home purchases rose 19 percent in West and 16 percent in the South.
     The lone exception to the good news was the Midwest, which saw new home purchases drop 5 percent.
     In other economic news, the Labor Department reported Tuesday that labor productivity rose in 15 of 28 selected service-providing industries in 2015.
Output grew in all 15 industries with increasing productivity, except newspaper publishers, where output fell 4.6 percent, and line-haul railroads, where output was unchanged. Hours worked declined in 9 of the 28 industries.

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