WASHINGTON. New U.S. claims for jobless aid rose last week while consumer prices notched their largest decline in nearly 18 months in May, suggesting interest rates will remain ultralow to nurse the fragile economic recovery.


Fears growth was slowing were heightened by news on Thursday that factory activity in June in the country’s mid-Atlantic region braked to its slowest pace in 10 months.


Analysts had generally expected the recovery from the most painful recession since the 1930s to moderate in the second half of this year.