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Economic Update, February 28, 2013

Lucas Deal February 28, 2013
  • Sales of new single-family homes in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000 — the highest rate since August 2008. The rate was 15.6 percent higher than December and 28.9 percent above January 2012.
  • Consumer confidence in February saw its largest month-to-month improvement since November 2011, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. The index rose 11.2 points after three straight monthly declines.
  • The national average retail diesel price rose just 0.2-cent to $4.159 a gallon during the week ended Feb. 25. The average price is 10.8 cents higher than the same week last year.
  • U.S. freight railroads’ carloads were down 1.2 percent for the week ended Feb. 23 compared to the same week last year. Intermodal traffic was up 11 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 22,000 during the week ended Feb. 23 to a seasonally adjusted 344,000. The four-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week’s average.

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