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U.S. labor market appears to cool; homebuilding slumps as rates surge

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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell less than expected last week, suggesting some cooling in the labor market, though conditions remain tight. There are growing signs the Federal Reserve’s aggressive efforts to slow demand and bring down inflation to its 2% target are starting to have an impact. Homebuilding slumped to a 13-month low in May, while a gauge of factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region contracted for the first time in two years in June. The U.S. central bank on Wednesday raised its policy interest rat…

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