Morning business headlines
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 11:16 AM
More good news in housing
New home construction and building permits issued in May rose to a five-year high, extending a housing rebound that is helping to expand the nation's economy. Housing starts climbed 6.8 percent, less than forecast, to a 914,000 annualized rate, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report. Applications to build single-family homes increased 1.3 percent to a 622,000 pace, the fastest since May 2008, reports Bloomberg.
Inflation still under 2 percent Fed target
The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index edged 0.1 percent higher last month after two straight months of declines. The increase was just below analysts' expectations. Higher energy costs were offset by cheaper food. Core prices rose 0.2 percent in May and 1.7 percent in the past 12 months, in line with the Federal Reserve's inflation target of 2 percent or less, reports MSN Money.
Report: Health care costs to slow in 2014
Consultancy PwC predicts that medical costs will rise 6.5 percent in 2014, which would be significantly slower than recent years' cost increases. PwC, or PricewaterhouseCoopers. provides accounting and consulting services to businesses. The company says that aggressive and creative steps by employers, new models for delivering care, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are contributing to downward pressure to the health sector, according to a report on24/7 Wall St.