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Why economists say 2014 could prove breakout year

WASHINGTON | Once this year's harsh weather has faded, the U.S. economy could be poised for a breakout year -- its strongest annual growth in nearly a decade.

March 27, 2014 3:55 pm

U.S. budget deficit down 37.6 percent through July

The government on Monday reported a $97.6 billion deficit for July but remains on track to post its lowest annual budget gap in five years.

August 12, 2013 1:50 pm

U.S. wholesale stockpiles rose 0.2 percent in April

WASHINGTON | U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in April and their sales rebounded from a big decline in March, positive signs for economic growth.

June 11, 2013 3:29 pm

U.S. housing starts surpass 1 million in March

WASHINGTON | U.S. homebuilders broke the 1 million mark in March for the first time since June 2008. The gain signals continued strength for the housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.

April 16, 2013 3:42 pm

US consumer spending, income jump in February

WASHINGTON | U.S. consumers stepped up spending in February after their income jumped, aided by a stronger job market that offset some of the drag from higher taxes. The gains led economists to predict stronger economic growth at the start of the year.

March 29, 2013 4:34 pm

U.S. factory orders that signal investment surge

WASHINGTON | U.S. orders for machinery and other factory goods that signal business investment surged in January, indicating confidence in the economy.

March 06, 2013 3:29 pm

U.S. factory orders up 1.8 percent in December

WASHINGTON | U.S. factory orders increased in December even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans.

February 04, 2013 3:05 pm
Fed unveils bold, open-ended steps to aid economy

Fed unveils bold, open-ended steps to aid economy

WASHINGTON | The Federal Reserve unleashed a series of bold and open-ended steps Thursday designed to stimulate the economy by boosting the stock market and making it cheaper for people to borrow and spend.

September 13, 2012 3:30 pm Related

Fed's discussion suggests possible new action soon

WASHINGTON | Federal Reserve officials spoke with increased urgency at their last meeting about the need to provide more help for a weak U.S. economy. Many thought further support would be needed "fairly soon" unless the economy improved significantly.

August 22, 2012 7:00 pm

Bernanke signals no imminent steps to aid economy

WASHINGTON | Slumping job growth has alarmed some economists who fear the U.S. economy is in trouble.

June 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Economy grew modest 2.8 pct. in Q4, best in 2011

Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies restocked their shelves at the strongest pace in nearly two years, helping the U.S. economy reach its fastest growth rate of last year.

January 27, 2012 9:20 am

Economists see modest growth next year

The U.S. economy will muddle through the next year without a recession, but growth-predicted to be 2.4 percent-will be too weak to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate, forecasters believe.

November 19, 2011 11:05 pm

Bernanke: Economic growth 'frustratingly slow'

WASHINGTON | Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday acknowledged the pace of economic growth is likely to be "frustratingly slow" after the Fed downgraded its forecast for the next two years.

November 02, 2011 3:30 pm

U.S. spending up as savings interest hovers near zero

WASHINGTON | Americans are making a little more money and spending a lot more.

October 28, 2011 5:53 pm

Economy gaining, but so is unemployment

The economy is showing signs of modest improvement - not enough to reduce high unemployment but enough to ease fears another recession might be near.

October 02, 2011 12:00 am

Economy gaining but not enough to cut unemployment

WASHINGTON | The economy is showing signs of modest improvement — not enough to reduce high unemployment but enough to ease fears another recession might be near.

September 30, 2011 12:00 am

Bernanke puzzled by weak consumer spending

WASHINGTON | Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he's surprised by how cautious consumers have been in the two years since the recession officially ended. But the Fed chief offered no hint of any steps the Fed would take to boost the weak economy.

September 09, 2011 12:00 am

Trade deficit narrowed in July

WASHINGTON | A record level of exports and a drop in oil prices narrowed the U.S. trade deficit in July to its lowest point in three months. The jump in exports could give the economy a lift at time when it is at risk of another recession.

September 09, 2011 12:00 am

Service firms grew at slightly faster pace

WASHINGTON | Service firms that employ 90 percent of the U.S. work force expanded at a slightly faster pace in August. But the sector remains too weak to help an economy that is barely growing and struggling to create jobs.

September 07, 2011 12:00 am

U.S. service sector grew in June, but at slower pace

WASHINGTON | The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of the country's work force, expanded for a 19th consecutive month in June. But growth slowed from May, a sign the economy remains sluggish.

July 07, 2011 12:00 am

Economy grew slightly faster 1.9 pct. in Q1

The U.S. economy expanded a little faster at the beginning of the year than previously estimated. But the growth rate was still anemic and economists don't see that changing much in the coming months.

June 24, 2011 11:45 am

Hiring likely to boost spending despite gas prices

Consumers as a whole will likely spend more this year-but not because we'll all be earning more money. Even people lucky enough to get a raise will likely spend most of those extra dollars to pay higher gas and food prices.

April 30, 2011 5:15 pm

Gov't to expand bank rules for tracking money transfers

WASHINGTON | The Obama administration is proposing that banks report all electronic money transfers in and out of the country, expanding its anti-terrorism requirements for financial institutions.

September 27, 2010 2:01 pm

August retail sales up 0.4 pct., best in 5 months

WASHINGTON | Retail sales rose in August by the largest amount in five months, adding to evidence that a late spring economic swoon was temporary and not the start of another recession.

September 14, 2010 10:01 am

Housing construction rises 1.7 percent in July

WASHINGTON | New home construction edged up slightly in July but applications for building permits tumbled to the lowest point in 14 months, a sign of continued stress in housing.

August 22, 2010 12:00 am
Trade gap likely points to slower economic growth

Trade gap likely points to slower economic growth

WASHINGTON | A decline in exports and a sharp rise in imports pushed the U.S. trade deficit in June to its widest point since October 2008, raising new concerns about the weakening economic recovery.

August 11, 2010 12:10 pm Photos

Photos

Consumers cut back on credit cards in June

WASHINGTON | Consumer borrowing fell in June for a fifth straight month as households keep cutting back on credit card use.

August 06, 2010 6:48 pm

0804ECONOMY

WASHINGTON | Consumers are saving more and being picky about how they spend their money, new data show.

August 03, 2010 2:27 pm
Trade gap widens as imports and exports both rise

Trade gap widens as imports and exports both rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. posted solid gains in exports in May, a positive sign for the economy. And while imports grew even faster, some economists saw that as a hopeful sign because it suggests companies are betting that consumers will spend more in coming months.

July 13, 2010 4:21 pm

Less spending by Americans could slow recovery

WASHINGTON | Americans are pulling back on their spending, a trend that could slow the economic recovery if it continues.

June 12, 2010 12:00 am

Government goes high-tech to redesign $100 bills

WASHINGTON | The folks who print America's money have designed a high-tech makeover of the $100 bill. It's part of an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters as technology becomes more sophisticated and more dollars flow overseas, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says.

April 22, 2010 12:00 am

Treasury pay czar releases 2010 pay guidelines

WASHINGTON | The Treasury Department said Friday that five big companies still living on federal bailout money will see cash salaries for some of their top earners limited in 2010 so that only five of those executives in this group will be making cash salaries above $500,000.

April 17, 2010 12:00 am

March housing starts post highest level in over a year

WASHINGTON | Housing construction posted a better-than-expected performance in March, rising to the highest level in 16 months on the strength of multi-family homes.

April 16, 2010 8:21 am

March budget deficit declines to $65.4B

WASHINGTON | The budget deficit for March showed a dramatic decline as the Obama administration formally entered a lower ultimate cost for the government's $700 billion financial bailout program.

April 13, 2010 12:00 am

Housing construction drops 5.9 pct in February

WASHINGTON | Housing construction fell in February as winter blizzards held down activity in the Northeast and South. The decline highlighted the challenges facing builders as they struggle to emerge from the worst housing slump in decades.

March 17, 2010 1:00 am

China trims holdings of Treasury securities

WASHINGTON | China retained its spot as the biggest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt in January even as it trimmed its holdings for a third straight month. The string of declines underscored worries that the U.S. government could face much higher interest rates to finance soaring budget …

March 16, 2010 12:00 am

Feb. retail sales offer positive surprise

WASHINGTON | Retail sales posted a surprising increase in February as consumers did not let major snowstorms stop them from racking up purchases. The advance, the biggest since November, provided hope the recovery from the Great Recession is gaining momentum.

March 13, 2010 12:00 am

Wholesale inventories fall while sales increase

WASHINGTON | Businesses trimmed inventories at the wholesale level again in January even though sales rose for a 10th consecutive month. The dip in inventories underscored that businesses remain cautious about restocking their depleted shelves.

March 11, 2010 12:00 am

Low inflation gives Fed room to keep rates down

WASHINGTON | The Federal Reserve seems likely to keep interest rates at record lows for several more months after news Friday that consumer prices excluding food and energy fell in January.

February 20, 2010 12:00 am

Consumers are squeezed as inflation outpaces wages

WASHINGTON | American families were squeezed last year as their inflation-adjusted weekly wages fell 1.6 percent -- the sharpest drop since 1990 -- even as consumer prices rose only modestly.

January 16, 2010 12:00 am

Retail sales fall unexpectedly; jobless claims up

WASHINGTON | Retail sales unexpectedly fell in December, leaving 2009 with the biggest yearly drop on record and highlighting the formidable hurdles facing the economy as it struggles to recover from the deepest recession in seven decades.

January 15, 2010 12:00 am

November trade deficit increases to $36.4 billion

WASHINGTON | The U.S. trade deficit jumped to the highest level in 10 months as an improving U.S. economy pushed up demand for imports. However, exports rose as well, boosted by a weaker dollar, supporting the view that American manufacturers will be helped by a rebounding global economy.

January 13, 2010 12:00 am

New jobless claims rise unexpectedly

WASHINGTON | The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week as the recovery of the nation's battered labor market proceeds in fits and starts.

December 17, 2009 8:30 am

Administration extends $700 billion bailout until October

WASHINGTON | The Obama administration has extended the $700 billion financial bailout program until October, setting up a struggle between Democrats who favor using some of the leftover money to help generate jobs and Republicans who say it should be used to shrink soaring budget deficits.

December 10, 2009 12:00 am

Weekly jobless claims drop below 500,000

WASHINGTON | In a hopeful sign, the number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, dropping below 500,000 for the first time since January.

November 25, 2009 8:35 am

Productivity gains may be bad news for job seekers

WASHINGTON | Companies across the economy are finding ways to do more with fewer workers, dimming hopes that hiring will take off anytime soon.

November 06, 2009 12:00 am

3 strong economic reports lift recovery hopes

WASHINGTON | Hopes for the fledgling economic recovery got a boost Monday from better-than-expected news on manufacturing, construction and contracts to buy homes.

November 03, 2009 12:00 am

Flat incomes, weak consumer spending raise concern

WASHINGTON | Flat incomes suggest more weakness ahead in consumer spending, reinforcing concerns about a ho-hum holiday shopping season and a sluggish economic recovery.

October 31, 2009 12:00 am

Treasury: bailed-out firms to slash pay in Nov.

WASHINGTON | The Treasury Department on Thursday ordered seven companies that received billions of dollars in government bailouts to halve total compensation for their top executives. But the big reductions will not apply to pay earned before November.

October 23, 2009 12:00 am

Fewer home-building permits signal weakness ahead

WASHINGTON | Applications for home building permits, a key gauge of future construction, fell in September by the largest amount in five months -- a discouraging sign for the housing industry. A rebound in housing is needed to support a broader economic recovery.

October 21, 2009 12:00 am
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