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A worker clings to the frame of a house being built in Belmar, N.J., on July 30. Home construction increased 15.7 percent in July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

PHOTO BY MEL EVANS / AP
A worker clings to the frame of a house being built in Belmar, N.J., on July 30. Home construction increased 15.7 percent in July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Housing starts jump 15.7% in July

WASHINGTON -- Housing starts surged in July to the highest level in eight months, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, underscoring the recent pickup in builder optimism as the U.S. residential real-estate market gains some traction. Construction increased 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally...

News in brief

Southern Bancorp buys 2-branch bank Southern Bancorp has agreed to buy the Bank of Bolivar County in Mississippi, the Arkadelphia bank said Tuesday.

Housing starts jump 15.7% in July

Housing starts surged in July to the highest level in eight months, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, underscoring the recent pickup in builder optimism as the U.S. residential real-estate market gains some traction.

Solar-cell shortage predicted after glut

The solar industry is facing a shortage of photovoltaic panels, reversing a two-year slump triggered by a global glut.

Business news in brief

Pastures signal U.S. beef supply rebound Signs of a rebound in U.S. beef supplies are taking shape as pasture conditions in the U.S. recover from a 2012 drought that forced ranchers to shrink the domestic herd to a 63-year low.

Verizon regains top ranking for fastest wireless network

Verizon Communications Inc. recaptured the wireless speed crown it lost to AT&T a year earlier, after adding capacity to relieve network congestion that lowered service quality in major cities such as New York.

News in brief

Southern Bancorp buys 2-branch bank Southern Bancorp has agreed to buy the Bank of Bolivar County in Mississippi, the Arkadelphia bank said Tuesday.

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