News In Brief

Leading indicators stumbled in June but home sales rose

The government's index of leading economic indicators fell a relatively steep 0.9 percent in June, the first major reversal in more than two years, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Seven of the 10 indicators contributed to the month's decline, and the three others were on the edge of deterioration as well. The biggest negative factor for the month was weakness in orders for consumer goods.

Meanwhile, sales of new single-family homes rose 0.6 percent in June, improving slightly after three straight months of declines, the government reported yesterday. The average price of a home, which had topped $103,600 in May, fell back slightly to $100,000.

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