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.
July 27, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- U.S. economic growth slowed further in the second quarter as consumers cut back on spending and businesses curbed their investments, the government reported Friday. The economy expanded at a sluggish annual rate of 1.5% in the April-June quarter, down from an upwardly revised 2% growth pace in the first quarter and a 4.1% increase in the final quarter of 2011. The latest reading of the nation's gross domestic product -- the total value of goods and services produced -- was slightly better than analysts' expectations of a 1.3% gain.
February 29, 2012 |
Despite the pickup in the U.S. economy since last summer, growth is likely to be "modest" during the coming year, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, citing factors including tight credit for businesses and consumers, the long-depressed housing market and budget-strapped governments. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, in presenting the central bank's semiannual report on monetary policy and the economy to Congress, did not view the recent jump in oil prices as a major impediment, though he noted that higher energy costs could pinch consumer spending.
September 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve on Thursday slightly lowered its forecast for economic growth this year, reflecting the still-struggling recovery and helping to justify the decision to launch another round of stimulus. The central bank's new forecast, released before Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's quarterly news conference, doesn't make drastic changes from its June projections. But it still lowered growth in the nation's gross domestic product, calling for a weak 1.7% to 2% increase this year.
November 28, 2012 |
The threat of the looming “fiscal cliff” is expected to temper economic growth in the U.S., according to a report released by Chapman University economists Wednesday. In its quarterly forecast, Chapman economists set out a moderate view of the full impact of the fiscal cliff - the year-end tax increases and spending cuts that are set to take place if Congress doesn't act. In their scenario, the forecast predicted planned payroll tax hikes will proceed as planned, capital gains and estate taxes will rise, but cutbacks in government spending won't be as drastic.
April 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The pace of economic growth picked up in the first quarter, but not nearly as fast as many analysts had forecast -- an unwelcome sign given other recent indicators that the recovery is losing some steam and further government spending cuts loom. The nation's economic output expanded at an annual rate of 2.5% in the quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was up from 0.4% growth in the final three months of last year as defense spending fell sharply and companies stockpiled less inventory.