Homes Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Flattens

Two fresh economic indicators:

— Home prices rose in May from April in all 20 major metropolitan areas where the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices keep track of them. Overall nationally, prices were up 2.2 percent. While those are encouraging signs, the housing sector’s softness was shown by the 0.7 percent national decline in prices since May 2011.

— Consumer spending was flat in June, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, even as personal income rose 0.5 percent from May. The Associated Press writes that “the lack of growth in spending follows a decline in the previous month, suggesting consumers are staying cautious with their money.”

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