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 24, 2013 |
We'll be seeing lots more data like these, but the White House Council of Economic Advisers is reporting that the government shutdown took a huge bite out of economic growth--and that the impact will linger. The chart above shows the effect on economic confidence, one of eight daily or weekly economic indicators tracked by the CEA. (The three lines follow three separate surveys, Gallup, Rasmussen and the University of Michigan.) Put briefly, confidence fell off a cliff. That's likely to bleed into the holiday period.
October 24, 2013 |
Congressional Republicans could have saved the country a lot of stress - as well as about $24 billion - if they had skipped the government shutdown and just let inept computer programmers scuttle Obamacare. The rollout of the new healthcare exchanges - the heart of the Affordable Care Act - has been bungled so badly that one has to wonder whether the techies who put it together are secretly members of the tea party. Democrats, who had their fleeting moment of glee as Republican poll numbers tanked in the wake of the government shutdown, are especially upset that the Obamacare website is such a flop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2013 |
Because of the government shutdown earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board said this week that they are delaying from November to December a two-day investigative hearing about the deadly Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco earlier this year. Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6 clipped a seawall and slammed into a runway while landing at San Francisco International Airport. Three teenage girls were killed in the crash and more than 180 other people were injured.
October 23, 2013
Re "Obama promises to fix glitches on health website," Oct. 22 Did I hear President Obama say he was more frustrated than anyone over the meltdown of the federal government's website for signing up folks for health insurance? Did he also say they are going to bring in the best and brightest technology minds to fix the glitches? How nice. I guess the president and others in his administration didn't think Obamacare was important enough to do that in the first place. Is this a great management team or what?
October 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The job market weakened in September amid a slowdown in key growth engines such as healthcare and leisure - a worrisome sign given that the employment picture probably worsened this month with the partial federal government shutdown. Employers last month added a modest 148,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That was down from an upwardly revised job growth of 193,000 in August, and well below analysts' forecasts for about 180,000 new jobs in September.
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 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low of 7.2% in September, the government reported Tuesday, but employers continued to show reluctance in hiring as they added a moderate 148,000 jobs over the month. The Labor Department report, delayed 2 1/2 weeks because of the partial federal government shutdown, reflected an economy growing at a lackluster rate. The latest job gains matched the pace since the start of summer but came in below Wall Street's forecast for an increase of about 175,000 jobs.
October 21, 2013 |
Spending on business travel is expected to surge in 2014, a sign of continuing confidence in the U.S. economy. But the rosy business outlook could be marred by further feuding in Washington that leads to another government shutdown. The message of caution came from a survey released last week by the Global Business Travel Assn., the trade group in Virginia for corporate travel managers. Based on business indicators, the group predicted $288.8 billion in spending in the U.S., which would be a 7.2% jump over 2013.
October 20, 2013 |
It is difficult to explain the recent government shutdown to citizens of other nations. In most of the world's democracies, this kind of disruption can't happen. Rules are in place to keep the government running even if a new budget isn't passed on time. The U.S. needs to reform its budgetary processes to prevent the kind of crisis we saw recently. Currently, budgeting differs from almost every other area of federal policy. When Congress and the president cannot agree on other kinds of legislation, existing law remains in effect.