An index of home prices in big metropolitan areas has reached its lowest level since 2002, driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes, and the reluctance or inability of many to buy.
The timing couldn't have been worse for the International Monetary Fund, whose chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was ordered jailed without bail Monday in New York on sexual assault charges.
Lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country.
Within the space of a week, the nation has witnessed worst performances on record of new-home sales, home prices and building — evidence that the housing market has sunk into a double-dip recession that poses a significant drag on the overall economy.
The disaster in Japan poses major economic challenges for the Asian giant and is interrupting key trade ties with the U.S. and the rest of the world, but it does not threaten to derail the U.S. and global economic expansions, analysts said.
Signs of a strengthening job market sent Wall Street stocks soaring Thursday, inspiring hopes that the U.S. economy will see robust growth this year despite surging oil prices.
Inflation is making a quick comeback after touching the lowest levels in decades last fall.
American businesses and consumers are giving the economy a boost by spending more, but the troubled housing market remains an obstacle, new data show.
The economy turned an important corner at the end of last year, recouping all the ground lost during the Great Recession and expanding into record territory.