Region’s housing market continues soft summer
Two fewer new homes sold in July compared to the same month in 2013, signaling a continuing soft housing market in the metropolitan Pittsburgh region. Beaver County had six fewer sales, while Washington County sales were up by six. Allegheny County had three fewer sales and Westmoreland County had one fewer. Butler County sales were up by two. The total spent on new homes approached $68 million in July, compared with $65.8 million a year ago, while the average price of a new home rose from $351,923 in 2013 to $367,540, a 4.4 percent increase.
Supervalu reports possible card payment breach
Minnesota grocery distributor Supervalu reported its card payment network may have been breached from June 22 to July 17. No Pittsburgh-area stores were affected, according to a list of 180 stores posted online. Supervalu, which operates a wholesale distribution warehouse in New Stanton, supplies Shop ’n Save, Save-A-Lot and Foodland stores in this region, among others. Although Shop ’n Save stores in Missouri were included on the list, those in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York were not. For more information, check the company’s website: www.supervalu.com/.
Factory output surges in July
Manufacturing production rose 1 percent in July compared with the prior month, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output in June was revised slightly higher to a 0.3 percent increase. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has risen 4.9 percent.
Producer prices edge up last month
The producer price index rose 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent gain in June, the Labor Department said Friday. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, prices moved up 0.2 percent. In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen just 1.7 percent.
Foreign holdings of Treasury debt hit record
Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings in June, topping $6 trillion for the first time. Total foreign holdings rose 0.6 percent to $6.01 trillion, up from $5.98 trillion in May, the Treasury Department said Friday. China is the top foreign buyer of U.S. Treasury debt.