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Does US have enough thrust to propel the rest of us?

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Ultralow interest rates have been driving brisk auto sales in the U.S.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- "Coming 2016 ... Trump" declares a big blue sign on Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the Capitol. The billboard is not, in fact, an ad for Donald Trump's presidential campaign but rather a luxury hotel to be completed by the end of this year. It could be considered one of many indications that the American economy is on the mend.

     Booming construction of homes and hotels has helped to brighten the employment picture. In December, the national nonfarm payroll expanded by 290,000 jobs. In New York, Manhattan housing prices averaged $1.95 million in the October-December period, an all-time high and up 12% from a year earlier.

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