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In a historic referendum on June 23, UK voters approved Brexit, or a British exit from the European Union, by a margin of 4%. UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who had wanted to remain in the EU, plans to resign in October. A majority of Scotland and Northern Ireland citizens voted to stay in the EU, renewing the possibility for independence referendums in those countries. The UK’s decision has stunned the rest of the world, causing markets to immediately slide and the value of the British pound to dive. The long-term reach and intensity of the economic effects of the decision are uncertain.
In the US, the weekly jobless claims report was positive, with seasonally-adjusted initial claims falling sharply by 18,000 to 259,000 for the June 18th week. This brings the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits to a 43-year low. Continuing claims were also at their lowest since 2000. These reports contribute to evidence that the labor market is healthy and stable.
The housing market continues to display modest strength, with existing home sales rising 1.8% in May and the median home price rising 3.8%. Year over year, the increase in sales is up but soft at 4.5%. The median price is up 4.7% YoY. The South and the Northeast are the strongest regions, while the West is lagging, with sales down YoY by 1.7%.
Tuesday June 28 — Gross Domestic Product (an all-inclusive measure of economic activity)
Wednesday June 29 — Personal Income and Outlays (a gauge of consumer sector strength)
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