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Housing construction falls, inflation edges up

Construction of new homes in the United States hit a six month lowin October, providing more evidence of the economy's sluggish recovery,while a surge in the cost of new and used vehicles lifted consumerprices.<br /><p></p>

Construction of new homes in the United States hit a six month low in October, providing more evidence of the economy's sluggish recovery, while a surge in the cost of new and used vehicles lifted consumer prices.

The data came a day after a report showed U.S. industrial output barely budged last month, suggesting the recovery stalled somewhat after a growth spurt in the third quarter.

Analysts said slow healing in the housing market, relatively benign inflation and excess slack in the economy meant the Federal Reserve would be able to honor its commitment to keep interest rates near zero for an extended period.

“It’s going to be a slow, uneven recovery. There has been a bit of a pause in the last month or so,” said Nick Kalivas, vice president of financial research at MF Global in Chicago.

 
 
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