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Pending Homes Fall 4.6% in October, Fifth Month of Decline | Economy
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Pending Homes Fall 4.6% in October, Fifth Month of Decline | Economy

Pending home sales fell for the fifth consecutive month in October, as high mortgage rates dampened demand, the National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday.Three of four U.S. regions recorded month-over-month decreases, but the entire country saw year-over-year drops in transaction activity."October was a difficult month for home buyers as they faced 20-year-high mortgage rates," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "The West region, in particular, suffered from the combination of high interest rates and expensive home prices. Only the Midwest squeaked out a gain."The housing sector has been the area of the economy most affected by higher interest rates as the Federal Reserve attempts to corral inflation, now running at a 7.7% annual pace.“Contract signings for existing hom...
Omicron Subvariants BQ.1, BQ.1.1 Rise to Dominance as BA.5 Declines | Health News
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Omicron Subvariants BQ.1, BQ.1.1 Rise to Dominance as BA.5 Declines | Health News

A pair of rapidly spreading omicron subvariants have overtaken BA.5 as the dominant COVID-19 strains circulating in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.BQ.1 is now the top strain. It was responsible for more than 25% of new coronavirus infections this week, according to CDC’s weekly variant update. That’s up from just 7% of infections a month ago. The subvariant is also increasing globally, going from 13% of cases to 16% last week, according to the World Health Organization.And BQ.1.1 is close behind, causing over 24% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. this week. That’s up from 5% of infections a month ago. The pair raises concerns because they appear to be highly contagious and adept at evading previous immunity, but they don’t seem to be more sev...
British Prime Minister Liz Truss Resigns After Short, Chaotic Reign | World Report
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British Prime Minister Liz Truss Resigns After Short, Chaotic Reign | World Report

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced Thursday that she would resign after a scant 45-day tenure that included a disastrous budget roll-out, a plunging pound and numerous policy U-turns. The turmoil culminated Wednesday evening in chaotic scenes in Parliament that saw several Conservative ministers rebel against the government and publicly and loudly voice their anger at their own leadership.Truss, who became a much-memed and frequent laughing stock of the British tabloids, said she will remain in power until a new prime minister could be selected, which she said would be in the next week. She will likely be the shortest-serving premier in U.K. history.The chaos has happened against the backdrop of a critical and worsening cost of living crisis that has many in the U.K. worried abo...
Retail Sales Unchanged in September as Consumers Spend More on Clothing, Food and Health Care | Economy
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Retail Sales Unchanged in September as Consumers Spend More on Clothing, Food and Health Care | Economy

Retail sales held steady in September, the Census Bureau reported on Friday.The number, not adjusted for inflation, compares to a 0.4% increase in August, which was revised upward from the earlier estimate of 0.3%.Year over year, retail sales increased 8.2%.Leading the rise were sales of groceries, clothing and health and personal care items.Analysts had expected sales to increase by 0.2%.Retail analysts say that consumers have been switching their spending habits as inflation, now running at an annual rate of 8.2%, takes a bigger bite out of everyday purchases like food, gasoline and medicine.The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, has been driving up the cost of credit, with mortgage rates now double what they were a year ago.Surveys by private firms who track spending through credit card sal...
Wholesale Inflation Rose Higher Than Expected in September on a Rise in Costs for Services | Economy
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Wholesale Inflation Rose Higher Than Expected in September on a Rise in Costs for Services | Economy

In yet another sign inflation continues to spread throughout the economy, wholesale prices rose 0.4% in September, more than expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday.The increase compares to a 0.3% increase in August.For the 12-month period, the producer price index rose 8.5%, compared to 8.7% in August.Much of the increase in September came from a 0.4% rise in costs for services ranging from health care to travel, with accommodation in particular increasing 6.4% in the month.On Friday, the government will issue the more commonly followed consumer price index, with expectations of an 8.1% annual rise compared to 8.3% in August. The two reports are being closely watched as the Federal Reserve continues its campaign of raising interest rates to combat inflation.Polit...
CDC: Omicron Subvariants BA.4.6, BF.7 Increasing While BA.5 Declines | Health News
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CDC: Omicron Subvariants BA.4.6, BF.7 Increasing While BA.5 Declines | Health News

A pair of omicron subvariants are making inroads in the U.S. as BA.5 continues to decline, according to updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.At its peak in August, BA.5 was responsible for nearly 87% of new coronavirus cases. This week, the CDC estimates that it caused about 79% of infections.While BA.5 remains dominant, other omicron subvariants are spreading. BA.4.6 and BF.7 – an offshoot of BA.5 – were responsible for over 13% and 4% of infections this week, respectively. BA.2.75 caused nearly 2% of infections.These omicron subvariants are likely to continue to increase and contribute to a winter wave of COVID-19, says JT McCrone of Helix, a genetic sequencing company tracking COVID-19 variants.Cartoons on the Coronavirus“Given that we'll see a relatively ...
Employers Added 263,000 Jobs in September, Slightly Less Than Expectations | Economy
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Employers Added 263,000 Jobs in September, Slightly Less Than Expectations | Economy

U.S. employers added 263,000 jobs in September, a hair below consensus forecasts, as the unemployment rate ticked back down, the Labor Department reported on Friday.The number is a drop from August’s 315,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell back to 3.5%, matching its historic, pre-pandemic low.The report indicates the labor market remains strong even in the face of an aggressive campaign by the Federal Reserve to stem inflation by raising interest rates. Other economic data out this week, including a report Tuesday that there are still 10.1 million jobs available and private payroll firm ADP’s monthly survey showing 208,000 new jobs created, reflect a similar picture of the employment situation.The Fed is hoping the labor market cools down and with it wage inflation. Friday’...