June 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As Europe's problems dragged down the Federal Reserve's economic outlook for the U.S., the central bank took a modest step to boost the lagging recovery - and signaled it was ready to do more. "We are hoping for the best," Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday of attempts by European leaders to ease their debt crisis. "But we are prepared, in case things get worse, to protect the U.S. economy and the U.S. financial system. " The Fed, worried about a spillover from Europe, sharply lowered its forecast for economic growth in the U.S. this year and projected that unemployment could remain near 8% through 2014.
April 12, 2012 |
Economists sharply raised their forecast for first-quarter economic growth after news of an unexpectedly big drop in the nation's trade deficit in February. The Commerce Department reported Thursday the trade deficit narrowed in February to $46 billion from $52.5 billion in January. Most of the decline was due to a sharper-than-expected 2.7% falloff in imports, much of that from China. U.S. exports in February was up a tiny 0.1%. Analysts said the trade gap was likely to turn up in March as Chinese production and shipments resumed after the Lunar New Year holiday in February.
February 15, 2012 |
Things are looking up for California's beleaguered economy as the recovery from the recession hits a period of slow, modest growth this year and next, according to two economic reports. Over the next two years, the state is poised to add nearly half a million jobs and drive the current 11.1% unemployment rate down to nearly 10%, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. said in an annual forecast scheduled to be released Wednesday. And on Tuesday, financial rating company Standard & Poor's upgraded its outlook on California's ability to repay its debts to "positive" from "stable.
November 28, 2011 |
Not long ago, those who predicted that China's economy was headed for a fall were in a lonely place. U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini, widely praised for calling the U.S. housing meltdown, was dismissed as a serial contrarian when it came to his pessimistic China views. So was well-known hedge fund manager Jim Chanos. Lawyer and author Gordon Chang was derided as a Chicken Little for his 2006 book "The Coming Collapse of China. " Suddenly they're all Nostradamus. Backed by data showing a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, doomsayers have taken center stage.
June 23, 2011 |
Amid increasing political pressure and turbulent financial conditions in the world economy, the Federal Reserve is letting its massive bond-buying stimulus program expire in the next few days without a new initiative to prop up the weak American recovery. The central bank is betting that, even without additional monetary or fiscal stimulus, U.S. economic growth will pick up sharply in the latter part of the year after a disappointing first half. But in adopting a kind of wait-and-see policy, the Fed faces increasing risk of antagonizing politicians from the right and the left, as well as investors.
September 1, 2010 |
The economic recovery has been paying off on the bottom line for the country's banks, but the forecast for the industry remains cloudy. The sector recorded its strongest quarterly earnings since 2007 as projected loan losses shrank for the first time in more than four years, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday. But banks in California and the West lagged behind the national recovery as they continued to work through losses on construction loans and troublesome commercial mortgages, according to a Federal Reserve report.