America

Home Construction Spikes; Wholesale Prices Rise Sharply; Manufacturing Flat

Three more pieces for the economic puzzle:

— There was a 14.6 percent increase in housing starts in January from December, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. Still, the pace was 2.6 percent below January 2010's.

— Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in January from December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, and were up 3.6 percent from a year earlier. The so-called core rate of inflation — prices excluding the volatile food and energy sectors — was up 0.5 percent in January, the most since October 2008.

— Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January from December, the Federal Reserve says. While it was flat last month, production was still up 5.2 percent from January 2010.

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