January 30, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer spending ended last year with a flourish, lifting overall economic growth and renewing hopes that the recovery will hit its stride this year and boost employment and incomes. The economy expanded at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the government estimated Thursday. Figures showed that people ate out more and bought more cars, clothes and other goods and services. Rising exports and a rebound in business spending for equipment also helped.
January 24, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- Stocks suffered a second day of steep declines as investors grew increasingly worried over economic growth in emerging markets. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 318.24 points, or 2%, to 15,879.11. Combined with Thursday's drop of nearly 176 points, the blue-chip index of stocks was down almost 500 points in two days. The broad Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 38.17 points, or 2.1%, to 1,790.29. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite shed 90.70 points, or 2.2%, to 4,128.17.
January 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - After a long and lumpy recovery, the world economy may finally be at a turning point with global growth expected to accelerate this year behind the rising strength of the U.S. and other major developed countries. But world finance leaders are warning of lingering effects of the last recession and, in particular, citing some growing threats - capital flight in developing countries and deflation in rich nations. "With inflation running below many central banks' targets, we see rising risks of deflation, which could prove disastrous for the recovery," Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Wednesday in a Washington meeting.
December 26, 2013
Re "A huge threat to social mobility," Column, Dec. 22 Michael Hiltzik's piece on income inequality was excellent and had many good ideas. However, I was disturbed by the frequent use of the word "growth. " When one is referring to the economy, the growth should follow the word "sustainable. " Failing to consider sustainability is an example of short-term crisis thinking. We need long-term thinking that promotes equality among people and between humans and the planet. Uncontrolled growth has already contributed to overpopulation and climate change.
December 23, 2013 |
The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending rose to its highest level since June, another late-year sign of renewed strength in the U.S. economy. Consumer spending rose 0.5% last month, after increasing a revised 0.4% in October, according to figures released Monday by the Commerce Department. The agency also reported that consumers' income rose 0.2% in November, an improvement from a 0.1% decline the month before. A more detailed breakdown of income showed that wages and salaries rose by 0.4%, reflecting steady job growth in the private sector.
December 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Adding to the rosier economic outlook for next year, revised government data show the economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in nearly two years as American consumers spent billions of dollars more than originally thought. The Commerce Department said Friday that the nation's gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, expanded at a 4.1% annual rate in the July-through-September period. Officials had previously estimated that GDP grew at a 3.6% rate in the quarter and figured most of that came from an unusually large increase in the restocking of goods, something that typically can't be maintained throughout the year.
December 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve took its first step toward curtailing its unprecedented efforts to boost the economic recovery - a sea change in policy that over time will result in interest rates drifting higher for businesses and consumers alike. After months of skittishness among policymakers and intense anticipation across the globe, the central bank said Wednesday that it would pare its large bond-buying stimulus program by $10 billion a month, beginning next month. The decision marks what is expected to be the start of a gradual unwinding of the Fed's historic efforts to revive an economy debilitated by the financial crisis six years ago. The announcement was greeted with cheers on Wall Street and by many others in the financial industry.
December 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After six years of a gloomy recession and shaky recovery, the U.S. economy looks poised to regain its glow next year with stronger job growth, bigger income gains for more people and a resurgence of homeowners moving up into new digs. The overall economic outlook for the U.S. has improved sharply in recent weeks amid a string of surprisingly robust economic data: Businesses have stepped up hiring, new factory orders from abroad are at a two-year high and consumers have been flocking to car lots and restaurants.
December 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The economy grew at a surprisingly robust 3.6% annual rate from July through September, much faster than initially reported, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But much of the improvement was driven by a large buildup in inventories by businesses that is unlikely to continue. The growth in total economic output, or gross domestic product, in the third quarter of the year was the best since the first quarter of 2012. It was much higher than the 2.8% annual rate originally reported by the Commerce Department last month.