Daily News 3/24/2015

March 24, 2015

Tuesday – March 24

Despite harsh weather in February, prospective home buyers were not deterred from purchasing newly built single family homes. The Commerce Department reported that New Home Sales surged last month by 8% from January to an annual rate of 539,000, the best month for sales in seven years. The 539,000 was well above the 465,000 expected, while January was revised up to 500,000 from 481,000. There has not been back-to-back monthly sales of 500,000 since 2008. Within the report it showed that the median price was up 2.6% from a year ago to $275,500. New Home Sales are up nearly 25% from February 2014.

Americans shelled out more money for gas at the pumps, along with food and shelter in February. The Labor Department reported that the inflation reading Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2%, which was inline with estimates. The report revealed that gas prices rose 2.4%, food was up 0.2%, while rents increased 0.3% for the month. The 0.2% rise in the CPI was the first gain in four months. The so-called Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy, rose by 1.7% annually, up from the previous month, though inflation continues to remain subdued. The CPI reflects what consumers pay for everything from groceries to housing.

On the lighter side, a recent research report from German University Saarland said that power naps may help in boosting memory. The findings show that an hour nap can improve you memory performance up to five times greater than what is was. A group of 41 volunteers were given 41 words to read, then half were asked to take a nap, while the other half watched movies. After that, both groups were tested for memory; the memory’s of those who took a nap were just as sharp as before the snooze, while those who did not nap had difficulty remembering the words. Just try to tell your boss that you need a midday nap, and he or she may tell you where to go!