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Published: Friday, 3/22/2013

Three good signs

There's some good news for American homeowners, including those in Lucas and Wood counties, who are looking to sell their houses.

Nationally, sales of previously occupied homes rose in February at their fastest pace in more than three years. Statewide, the number of homes sold jumped more than 10 percent last month. And in Lucas and northern Wood counties, the average sale price of a home in February was 21 percent higher than in the same month of 2012.

These are not definitive numbers, and much economic healing remains to be done. The nation has been in recession for four years, and in a structural downturn for a generation. Both forms of recession have hit northwest Ohio hard.

But there also are signs of economic life and recovery. Three more things need to happen now.

Consumers need to feel confident, and to begin taking economic risks. Banks need to share that confidence and loosen up a bit on loans, which are especially hard for young and working people to get these days.

And Congress needs to get its act together on the federal debt and tax structure, so that it does not stall a real but still tentative economic recovery.

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