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New-home builders expressing optimism

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident in their sales prospects headed into next year, a sign that home construction and sales of newly built homes may pick up after stalling this summer.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday rose this month to 55, up 2 points from a revised reading of 53 in July.

The latest reading is the third monthly increase in a row and the highest since January, when it was 56.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, not poor.

Builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased since July.

The brighter outlook bodes is a positive sign for the new-home market after a lackluster summer.

UK to pay Raytheonin tribunal ruling

Britain's government says it will pay about $373 million to defense firm Raytheon Systems Ltd. for unlawfully ending a contract for a program meant to collect information in advance about passengers traveling to and from Britain.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May told lawmaker Keith Vaz in a letter that authorities are looking at the Arbitration Tribunal's detailed conclusions to see if there are grounds for challenging the award.

But she says the government stands by its decision to end the eBorders contract. She says key milestones were missed and the program was running late.

Raytheon said in a statement Monday that the tribunal's ruling confirms that the company delivered substantial capabilities to the UK Home Office under the eBorders program.

Savings escape36% of Americans

More than a third of Americans have no retirement savings, and millennials feel more financially secure than other age groups despite being the least likely to have socked away any cash for their golden years, a new survey shows.

Bankrate.com, a publisher of personal finance content, found that on average 36 percent of Americans haven't saved any money for retirement.

Generally, the older the age group, the more likely it is that they are saving.

More than two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds have saved nothing for retirement, while 14 percent of people 65 and older have put nothing aside for retirement, Bankrate.com found.

Cost to raise childincreases slightly

A child born in 2013 will cost a middle-income American family an average of $245,340 until he or she reaches the age of 18, with families living in the Northeast taking on a greater burden, according to a report out Monday.

And that doesn't include college – or expenses if a child lives at home after age 17.

Those costs that are included – food, housing, childcare and education – rose 1.8 percent over the previous year, the Agriculture Department's new “Expenditures on Children and Families” report said.

As in the past, families in the urban Northeast will spend more than families in the urban South and rural parts of the U.S., or roughly $282,480.

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