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BUSINESS
April 27, 2012 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The American economy grew at a sluggish rate in the first quarter, stirring more doubts about the strength of the recovery and the outlook for jobs in coming months. The economy expanded at a lackluster 2.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, down from a 3% pace in the fourth quarter of last year, the Commerce Department said Friday. Most analysts were expecting the gross domestic product - the total value of goods and services produced in the U.S. - to increase at a 2.6% rate or more in the January-March period.
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BUSINESS
April 13, 2012 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING — China's roaring economy cooled the first three months of this year to its slowest pace of growth in three years because of slackening export demand and a weakened property market. The country's gross domestic product expanded 8.1% in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That's down from 8.9% growth in the fourth quarter last year and below many analysts' expectations. The figure could spook investors and prolong fears of a potential hard landing for the world's second-largest economy after years of unsustainably high growth.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw more of a decline in cargo traffic in February than other ports around the nation, perhaps proving there is one month out of the year in which there's little advantage in having China as a primary trading partner. That's because of the annual Chinese New Year celebration. Chinese factories traditionally close for the celebration for a week or more. This year, the factory slowdown hit trade traffic in February. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest U.S. seaport complex, move 40% of the nation's Asian imports, and most of that comes from China.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2012 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
In another sign that the job market is gaining momentum, the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits fell further last week — down to levels last seen in the early months of the recession. The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time jobless claims dropped by 15,000 to 358,000 last week, although week-to-week changes can be volatile. The average for the last four weeks, a more reliable measure, dropped to 366,000 — the lowest four-week average since April 2008.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2012 | By David Pierson
General Motors Co. and its joint ventures in China recorded record sales last year in the world's largest automotive market, despite a marked cool-down in growth. The company sold 2.55 million vehicles in 2011, up 8.3% from the year before, GM said Monday. "GM stayed ahead of the competition despite a slowdown in the growth of industry demand thanks to our broad portfolio of appealing vehicles," Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group, said in a written statement.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2011 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
Despite the struggling global economy, investors for the last two years have gotten used to corporate America generating robust earnings gains. But the profit picture now is getting cloudier: Although third-quarter results again were stellar, Wall Street analysts have slashed estimates for the current quarter and the first period of next year. "Earnings growth is very quickly decelerating," said David Rosenberg, chief market strategist at money manager Gluskin Sheff & Associates in Toronto.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
General Motors Co. saw its profit slide in the third quarter, hurt by losses in Europe and a slowing global economy. Although the nation's largest automaker has posted a string of seven consecutive profitable quarters, its earnings in the latest period fell 15% to $1.7 billion, or $1.03 per share, from $2 billion, or $1.20 a share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 7.6% to $36.7 billion. "We produced a solid quarter generating our best results in North America and China, the world's most important auto markets and where GM is a market leader," said Dan Akerson, GM's chief executive.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2011 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Even if the U.S. economy avoids sliding back into recession, the continuing weakness is beginning to inflict long-term damage on many families and businesses that will make a full-blown recovery much harder to achieve. The devastating recession that started four years ago hit a nation flying high on a housing boom and helium-inflated clouds of consumer spending. But the current slowdown is striking a nation already on its economic knees. "That's the danger right now: You've got an economy that didn't recover," said Ethan Harris, Bank of America's chief economist for North America.
BUSINESS
June 16, 2011 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
Stocks tumbled on a fresh batch of troubling economic data and mounting fears over Europe's debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 178 points Wednesday to a 12-week low. The slide erased Tuesday's 123-point gain. Traders also bailed out of many commodities. Crude oil futures sank below $95 a barrel for the first time since February. Some investors rushed back to U.S. Treasury bonds, pushing their yields down. The 10-year T-note's yield fell to 2.97% from 3.1% on Tuesday.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2011 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Shoppers appeared to be more cautious last month in spending for clothing and other items as rising gas and food prices took up a bigger chunk of their disposable income, raising some concern about a possible slowdown in sales over the summer. Major retail chains reported a modest 4.9% gain in sales last month compared with a year earlier, below analysts' predictions of a 5.4% rise, according to Thomson Reuters' tally of 24 retailers released Thursday. At the Westfield Culver City mall, shoppers said that rising temperatures had put them in the mood to browse for swimsuits and other summer apparel.
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