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June 25, 1999
Prosperity is feared by conservative economists as a threat to economic stability. BERTRAM R. FORER Westlake Village
March 25, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Consumers are more optimistic about the economy than they've been in years, and that could help heat up the recovery after a deep winter chill. A closely watched barometer of consumer confidence surged this month to its highest level in more than six years. The report by the Conference Board on Tuesday added to indications that some weak economic data in recent months were caused by unusually bad weather and were not a harbinger of a more protracted slowdown. "Consumer confidence made significant progress in March, indicating that the winter economic blues … are somewhat behind us," said Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight.
October 1, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Storms and insecurity are further eroding once-optimistic predictions for Mexico's economic growth, analysts say. At the start of the year, Mexico's new government under President Enrique Peña Nieto boasted of a robust economy that would grow at a rate of more than 3.5%, better than many countries in the region. Those boasts earned positive headlines for Mexico beyond its borders, as officials here portrayed a country ready to leap into prosperity. Now, however, even government economists have had to dial down the projections.
March 17, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
[This post has been updated, as explained below.] The restaurant industry's opposition to a higher minimum wage is hardly a secret--it's one of the top issues on the lobbying agenda of the National Restaurant Assn., the chain restaurants' Washington trade group. The mystery is why the industry seemed so loath to reveal its role in a round-robin letter signed by more than 500 economists, including four Nobel laureates, calling the proposed minimum-wage hike to $10.10 an hour a "poorly targeted anti-poverty measure.
March 20, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Economists brushed off a decline in new residential construction starts last month and instead looked at an increase in permits issued for houses and apartment buildings as a positive indicator that the real estate market is on the mend. Housing starts fell 1.1% from the prior month to hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000, the Commerce Department reported. That was a 34.7% surge from February last year. Starts were down 5.9% from the prior month in the West and 12.3% in the Northeast.
May 23, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- More than 100 conservative economists will call on Congress to approve an immigration overhaul, highlighting the potential economic benefits. The letter by the American Action Forum, to be released Thursday, is the latest volley from conservative economic thinkers, who have been divided on the immigration overhaul legislation making its way through the Senate. “Immigration reform's positive impact on population growth, labor force growth, housing, and other markets will lead to more rapid economic growth,” wrote the economists, including Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the foundation's president, who is a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and a former advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
December 17, 2012 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- Most forecasters are looking at 2013 as being another mediocre year for the economy, but many appear hopeful that growth will accelerate as the year progresses. Beyond that broad outline, the outlook for next year is muddled. The range of economic growth projections is about as wide as it's ever been, reflecting the great fiscal haze hanging over the nation. In its year-end survey released Monday, the National Assn. for Business Economics said the consensus view from its panel of forecasters shows gross domestic product expanding next year at an average annual growth rate of 2.1%.
March 4, 2013 | By Don Lee
Even as top Federal Reserve officials continue to defend their economic stimulus, a growing number of industry and academic economists view the Fed's policy now as too aggressive -- with two-thirds of those recently surveyed saying the central bank should terminate its controversial bond-buying program this year. The survey, of 196 members of the National Assn. for Business Economics, found that a slim majority of them consider the central bank's monetary policy as "about right.
April 26, 2012 | By Eric J. Weiner
It seems that some people never fail to get worked up at the sight of young people standing up to an entrenched power. That's the only way I can explain the vehement reaction to my recent Op-Ed article, " Not their fathers' economics ," about the budding movement against orthodox economics among students from around the world. The general dismissive attitude seems to be that these students have no real right to speak their minds because they're so young that they haven't had a chance to be fully informed.
January 15, 1993
It is true that Clinton has spurned conventional economics and its associated priesthood of academics who resemble quantum physicists rather than humanists. But wasn't the message of Clinton's campaign change, chance, change? And doesn't the fact that traditional economic theory has failed to cure our recession provide enough reason to try a new approach? As an impressionable undergraduate at Berkeley, I aspired to become an economist because I saw how clearly basic economic theories can explain the processes of our society.
February 25, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Physicists may be the only people who understand that the quest for exact measurement of the real world is a wild goose chase -- the Heisenberg uncertainty principle tells them that the more precisely they measure the momentum of a particle, the less they can know about its position (and vice versa ). Economists are positioned at the other end of the spectrum: Their impulse to measure economic trends is fueled by an absolute confidence that at the end of the quest lies exact knowledge.  "There's this belief that we have enough credible long-term data to come to absolute conclusions that we know what's going to happen with stimulus spending or too much debt," said Zachary Karabell . In truth, he said, it's too soon to tell: "A thousand years from now, we might have just enough data points to say with some certainty that if we spend X we might get Y jobs.
January 31, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumers opened their wallets more than expected last month even though their incomes failed to grow, another indication the economy picked up steam heading into the new year, the Commerce Department said Friday. Spending rose 0.4% in December after an upwardly revised 0.6% increase the previous month. Economists had projected so-called personal-consumption expenditures increased only 0.2% last month. "The consumer has a lot of spending momentum and is off to a good start for 2014," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York.
January 27, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Economists working for U.S. businesses are more optimistic about growth this year and see little effect from the start of healthcare reform or the reduction in a key Federal Reserve stimulus program, according to survey results released Monday. More than 40% of respondents in the January survey by the National Assn. for Business Economics said they expected their firms to raise prices in the first three months of the year, the largest percentage since 2012. But despite the brighter outlook, the pace of hiring is not expected to increase, the survey said.
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Trinkel De La Paz, 24, loves this holiday's deep discounts because they're enabling her to be a more generous Santa. To herself, that is. The Silver Lake graphic designer bought herself an iPad mini and some clothes discounted on Cyber Monday, and she's not done. De La Paz said she feels free to splurge on herself because she has extra money from a recently landed job, a new apartment waiting to be spruced up and only one present to buy for her family's Secret Santa exchange.
November 20, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
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 | By Fabiola Gutierrez and Chris Kraul
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.
July 25, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Sales of newly built homes in the U.S. fell sharply in June, surprising economists who had expected continued gains. Sales fell 8.4% from May though were up 15.1% from June 2011, the Commerce Department reported. Homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 350,000 units. Patrick Newport and Michele Valverde, economists with IHS Global Insight, called the report “mixed” -- driven largely by an unusually large plunge in the Northeast. New home sales are often unreliable, they continued, and too much emphasis can't be placed on one month's data.
February 25, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- With just a few days to go before new government spending cuts are set to take effect, what are the chances that another eleventh-hour action will avert the latest impending hit to the economy? Very little, according to a survey of economists released Monday by the National Assn. for Business Economics. The group said that nearly 60% of economists now expect the so-called sequestration, which will slice about $85 billion from the federal budget, to begin March 1 in full or partial form.
October 23, 2013 | By Shan Li
Spain pulled out of two years of recession in the third quarter, news that should give a boost to the efforts of its prime minister to repair the nation's economy though tax increases and spending cuts. The Bank of Spain said Wednesday that gross domestic product grew 0.1% in the third quarter, compared with a 1.2% drop in the same period a year ago. The news, while positive, has been viewed skeptically by some economists who point out the Spanish economy has slipped more than once into recession in the last five years.
October 14, 2013 | By Don Lee
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.
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