February 25, 2014 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.