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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

PPI Core Up .1 Pct; Housing Starts Improve in February

Government data just released moments ago show the producer price index rose .1 percent for the month of February, slightly above analysts' expectations. The index, released by the Labor Department, measures the wholesale price of goods. The slight increase last month follows a .8 percent decline in January and a 1.9 percent decline in December. The increase was led by rising energy prices and finished goods, despite continued downward pressure on food prices.

In other news, government data shows that the number of housing starts unexpectedly bumped up more than 22 percent last month to 583,000 units, well above the January number of 477,000 units.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  March 17, 2009; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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