Fed calls housing upturn a good sign

The Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” report, released Wednesday, points to housing as a bright spot in the economic landscape and applauds banks that lent to first-time homebuyers. It calls commercial real estate a consistently weak sector, weighed down by business closures and the difficulty in refinancing.

In a separate report Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department said the number of jobs fell in 43 states and the District of Columbia, with the unemployment rate rising in 23 states. Industries with the strongest economic gains were residential real estate and manufacturing.

Source: Washington Post, Neil Irwin (10/22/2009)

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