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Housing Starts Hit Four-Year High; Bernanke Heads Back To Capitol Hill

At an annual rate of 760,000, ground-breaking for construction of single-family homes, apartments and condominiums the pace rose 6.9 percent in June from May

Politics Likely Hinders San Bernardino's Economy

The city of San Bernardino, Calif., is expected to declare a fiscal emergency, and officially file for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The declaration would be the third by a California city in recent weeks. Some analysts believe San Bernardino's problems may be more about its dysfunctional local politics.

Fed Chief Gives Gloomy Economic Review

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a downbeat assessment of the U.S. economy at a Senate panel hearing Wednesday. He said the economy is still growing, but its pace slowed in the second quarter.

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Is the U.S. housing sector about to make a comeback? Home builders apparently think so. Every month, the National Association of Home Builders publishes its housing market index. The July report shot up to its highest level in five years. It is, however, still well below historical averages.

Economic Recovery Has Yet To Gain Strong Footing

Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal and Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist, about the U.S. economy. What kind of a recovery are we looking at, and where is the growth coming from?

Bernanke: U.S. Economic Growth Is Slowing

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers that progress toward bringing down the nation's high unemployment rate will be "frustratingly slow." He reiterated previous statements that the Fed stands ready to do more, but declined to be specific about what it would do. Bernanke also defended the Fed's role in addressing the manipulation of a benchmark interest rate by at least one big bank.

States Make Tough Calls To Close Budget Gaps

Over half of U.S. states will have to close a combined budget gap of 55 billion dollars, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in the 2013 fiscal year. To avoid raising taxes, most states are implementing continued cuts to deal with budget shortfalls.