THURSDAY, May 17, 2012 - U.S. factories stepped up production in April. The Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index — which measures the output of factories, mines and utilities — rose 1.1% from March. Manufacturing production climbed 0.6% after falling in March, led by cars, and furniture and business equipment. Factories are operating at a high capacity but unemployment and weak wage growth continue to weigh on the U.S. recovery.
MONDAY, May 21, 2012 - The euro has been losing ground against the dollar. The currency settled at $1.278 Friday, a slight gain for the day. But that was down more than 3.5% over the past three weeks and nearly 10% during the past year. Concerns about Europe’s fiscal crisis and the prospect of Greece’s exit from the currency bloc have been behind the decline.
WEDNESDAY, May 23, 2012 - Americans stepped up purchases of previously occupied homes in April. Existing-home sales rose 3.4% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units, ending two months of declines. While sales are on track to eclipse last year’s dismal figure, they are still far below prerecession levels, as high unemployment and foreclosures continue to plague households.