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Keeping Track ...

The US housing market heated up in June. New home sales rose 3.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported, as buyers rushed to beat slowly rising mortgage rates. Existing homes sales also soared - up 10.6 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Despite the healthy home-buying figures, there were signs that the US economy is cooling. The government reported the economy grew at a modest 2.3 percent rate in the second quarter, down significantly from 4.3 percent in the first quarter.

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