Index of U.S. leading indicators rose more than forecast in July

Cisco, Google

Cisco Systems Inc. and Google Inc. are among companies announcing job cuts. Cisco, the biggest maker of computer- networking equipment said July 23 it plans to eliminate about 1,300 jobs, or 2 percent of the workforce, as Europe’s debt crisis and sluggish corporate spending threaten sales.

Mountain View, California-based Google will cut about 4,000 jobs at its Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit, or 20 percent of the staff at the company it bought for about $12.5 billion, according to an Aug. 13 regulatory filing. About one-third of the reductions will be in the U.S. workforce.

The economy expanded at a 1.5 percent annual rate from April through June, after a 2 percent pace in the prior three months, Commerce Department data show.

The homebuilding market remains a bright spot for the recovery. Confidence among U.S. homebuilders increased in August to the highest level in more than five years. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index climbed to 37, its best showing since February 2007, a report from the Washington-based group showed Aug. 15.

American builders took out more residential construction permits in July than at any time in the past four years, a sign the market will continue to improve.

Applications, a proxy for future work, rose to an 812,000 annual rate, exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the most since August 2008, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday in Washington. Housing starts fell 1.1 percent to a 746,000 rate from June’s 754,000, which was the strongest pace in more than three years.

Bloomberg News

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