November 20, 2013 |
The Black Friday shopping rush may be slightly less of a nail-biter for retailers after government data showed better-than-expected sales in October. Retail sales jumped 0.4% last month, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, handily exceeding the 0.1% month-over-month increase anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. And the September performance, which caused deep concern when initially reported as a 0.1% decline, was revised up to reflect no change. In total, October sales reached $428.1 billion, a 3.9% boost from October 2012.
November 17, 2013 |
SANTIAGO, Chile - Buoyed by personal popularity and her promise to rewrite Chile's Constitution, Michelle Bachelet surged to the top in Sunday's first round of voting to elect a new president, but fell short of enough votes to avoid a runoff. With nearly all ballots counted, Bachelet, a pediatrician and former president, was far ahead of eight other candidates, but, at 47%, was below the simple majority needed for an outright victory. In a distant second place was economist Evelyn Matthei, a former labor minister in President Sebastian Pinera's government.
October 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A leading barometer of consumer confidence tumbled this month to its lowest level this year as the partial federal government shutdown led to fears the economic recovery would slow down. The consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters fell to 73.2 from 77.5 in September, a steeper drop than economists had forecast. The October figure, released Friday, was the lowest since December, when consumers were concerned about the looming fiscal cliff of tax hikes and budget cuts.
October 23, 2013 |
In my Wednesday column , I described a vision of our future as imagined by economist Tyler Cowen : More rich people, more poor people and a smaller middle class; constant measurement of workers to help employers eliminate slackers; and “the creation of a new underclass,” including retirees clustered in shantytowns that resemble “the better dwellings you might find in a Rio de Janeiro favela .” Is there any way to...
October 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the economy after the partial government shutdown and debt limit fight, according to poll results released Tuesday. Just 29% of respondents in a CNN/ORC International survey said economic conditions are good, down four percentage points from late September. The figure is the lowest since December, when the nation was staring at the "fiscal cliff" combination of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts. The poll also showed that just 40% of respondents thought the economy would be in good shape a year from now, down from 50% in June.
October 14, 2013 |
The question seems simple, but shedding light on the answer was worth a Nobel Prize for three American economists: How do we know how much an item is worth? Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen of the University of Chicago and Robert J. Shiller of Yale University spent decades working on that problem, separately pioneering two competing views on finance that have strongly influenced the way people save and invest as well as major issues in public policy. Fama, 74, spent a five-decade career in Chicago demonstrating how well free markets can determine the value of stocks, bonds and other assets.