News In Brief

New-home sales, orders for factory goods climb

Sales of new houses jumped 13.7 percent in September, quieting speculation that the key industry was giving up its leading role in the economic recovery. The Commerce Department said sales reached 632,000 units at an annual rate despite an enormous $7,500 increase in the average price, to a record $98,700. The housing sales rate was up one-third over last year.

Factory orders also climbed a healthy 1.5 percent, to $181 billion, during the month, the department said in another report Wednesday, promising more production and industrial employment in the weeks and months ahead.

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