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The New Economy

Money Daily Brief: US home prices rise for third straight month

American home prices rise for the third straight month and consumer prices fall in Japan.

By Ben Hancock / September 29, 2009

A builder works on a new multi-storey housing complex in Los Angeles in May. The Case-Shiller index has risen for 3 consecutive months

Mark Ralston/AFP

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US home prices rise: The S&P Case-Shiller home price index rose 1.6 percent in July, climbing for the third consecutive month. Home prices rose in 18 of the 20 metropolitan regions on which the index depends, with Minneapolis (which in May posted the largest month-to-month drop in the index's history) and San Francisco posting the strongest gains. Seattle and Los Vegas both posted small losses in home values. Overall, prices were down 13.3 percent from July 2008.

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American poverty up: The rate of Americans under the poverty line rose in 31 states and the District of Columbia last year, included two of the nation's four largest states, California and Florida, the Census Bureau reported.

Price check: Japan logged the sharpest consumer price fall since recordkeeping began in 1971, a bad sign for growth as its new government tries to steer the economy upwards. A Bloomberg survey also predicted unemployment reached a record 5.8 percent in August. But stocks were up in Tokyo as the dollar strengthened against the yen, and Japanese Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii denied claims that he favors a strong local currency.

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