WASHINGTON - The economy remains on a mild growth track, analysts said yesterday after separate reports showed sales of existing homes surged in July while orders to factories for durable goods fell.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales jumped 5.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.69 million, the highest level recorded all year. The group attributed the increase, which came in all regions of the country except the Northeast, to record-low mortgage interest rates.

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