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Economy Briefs

Economy Stories


Jun 19 2014 US Federal Reserve Lowers Growth Forecast

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank says economic growth is rebounding after stalling in the first few months of the year. But as expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve lowered its growth forecast for 2014 from three percent to only slightly more than two percent. Despite the weaker outlook, Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed confidence in […]


Jun 7 2014 US Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 6.3 Percent

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers added another 217,000 jobs in May. That’s the fourth straight month of job gains above 200,000. The job gains in May could mean the economy now has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, but the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent because more Americans went looking for work.
After […]


May 1 2014 US Economic Growth Report Dismal

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy barely grew during the first three months of the year, but the central bank is giving a bright outlook for the immediate future.
The Commerce Department says economic growth was a scant 0.1 percent during the first quarter. This was the slowest growth rate in more than a year, and a […]


Mar 22 2014 Federal Reserve: US Banks Can Withstand Severe Economic Downturn

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank has concluded that almost all of the country’s biggest banks could withstand a severe economic downturn.
The Federal Reserve said that 29 of the country’s 30 biggest banks — excluding a regional bank in the western U.S. — have enough money on hand to withstand a hypothetical deep recession. Such […]


Mar 22 2014 Fitch Upgrades US Credit Rating

WASHINGTON - The Fitch credit rating agency has issued a AAA rating with a stable outlook for the United States.
Fitch made the announcement Friday, saying the new action resolved the negative watch the U.S. received in October.
The agency noted that last year’s U.S. debt ceiling crises had not negatively affected U.S. bond yields or reduced […]


Mar 20 2014 US Federal Reserve To Reduce Bond Purchases

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank is on pace to reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion - and interest rates will remain near record lows until the job market approaches something closer to normal.  So says Janet Yellen, who held her first news conference Wednesday as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
There’s […]


Mar 9 2014 Obama Seeks Minimum Wage Hike Despite Rising Unemployment

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama says a “clear majority” of Americans are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
In his weekly address the president said that half of all Republicans supported raising the minimum wage, but unfortunately they were not the Republican lawmakers serving in Congress.
The U.S. leader said Republican […]


Mar 8 2014 US Unemployment Rate Climbs Again To 6.7 Percent

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in February, picking up the pace of hiring after two months of sluggish job growth.
A senior economist at the country’s biggest bank, James Glassman at JPMorgan Chase, tolds VOA the advance in the labor market last month is a favorable sign for the world’s largest economy. That is […]


Mar 1 2014 US Economic Growth Slower Than Expected

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew more slowly than first thought in the last few months of 2013.
Friday’s report from the Commerce Department says the world’s largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in October, November and December.
That is eight-tenths of a percent slower than a preliminary estimate published one month ago. […]


Feb 14 2014 US Consumer Spending Plummets

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer spending dropped for the second straight month in January, a new signal that growth of the world’s largest economy may have slowed.
The government reported Thursday that retail sales fell 0.4 of a percentage point last month, the biggest drop in 10 months, after a 0.1 drop in December, which previously had […]


Feb 8 2014 US Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.6 Percent

WASHINGTON - Unemployment in the U.S. has fallen to a five-year low. The Labor Department says the economy added 113,000 jobs in January - well below expectations of 180,000 - but enough to push the nation’s unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent. Still, there are growing concerns the labor market has cooled - in more […]


Feb 1 2014 US Interest Rates Climb Higher

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve gave the improving U.S. economy a vote of confidence this past week, saying it no longer needs as much stimulus to keep growing.  The Fed’s actions will raise key U.S. interest rates, but some economists say it has caused a drop in stock and currency values in some emerging markets.
The […]


Jan 31 2014 US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Resigns

WASHINGTON - U. S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down Friday after guiding the world’s largest economy through years of tumult.  Bernanke wins praise for crisis management and some criticism for unfinished reforms.
Bernanke says managing the economic crisis in 2008 was like driving a car that narrowly avoids a terrible crash.
“It is my nature, […]


Jan 30 2014 US Federal Reserve Reduces Bond Purchases

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank says it will trim another $10 billion from its bond buying program, saying that despite weaker than expected job growth, the world’s largest economy is gaining strength. The announcement Wednesday means the Federal Reserve will buy $65 billion in securities next month, instead of the $75 billion it purchased […]


Jan 24 2014 US Housing Market Begins To Recover

WASHINGTON - The battered U.S. housing market recovered strongly in 2013 with sales increasing and prices rising.
Thursday’s report from the National Association of Realtors says sales over the last 12 months were the strongest since 2006.
Researchers at RealtyTrac, which closely monitors foreclosures and other housing activities, say the recovery will continue in 2014, but the […]


Jan 11 2014 US Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.7 Percent

WASHINGTON - The U.S. jobless rate dropped sharply in December to 6.7 percent, its lowest point in more than five years, but employers added just 74,000 new workers to their payrolls.
The government said Friday that unemployment dropped from 7 percent in November.
However, the U.S. labor statistics chief, Erica Groshen, said two-thirds of the decline in […]


Dec 21 2013 US Trade Deals Face Uncertainty

WASHINGTON - Several major trade deals between Washington and its Asian and European partners face an uncertain future on Capitol Hill. While U.S. officials are busy working out agreements with other nations, Congress is haggling over what should be in those pacts and how they should be approved.
Trade supporters hope to get Congress to agree […]


Dec 3 2013 US Retailers Report Lousy Holiday Sales

WASHINGTON - U.S. retailers saw more people shopping in stores and online at the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season, but they spent less overall.
The preliminary figures are important because stores rely on strong sales during November and December for much of their profit.
U.S. shoppers habitually throng stores on the Friday after the patriotic, […]


Nov 9 2013 US Unemployment Rate Rises To 7.3 Percent

WASHINGTON - The U.S. labor market unexpectedly added 204,000 jobs in October, defying economists’ predictions that last month’s partial government shutdown would slow hiring.
However, the government also reported Friday that the national jobless rate inched up last month from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent - the first time the figure has risen since May. But […]


Nov 9 2013 65% Disapprove Of Obama Performance On Economy

WASHINGTON - Facing his lowest public approval ratings yet, President Barack Obama traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to speak about continuing challenges to U.S. economic growth.
Facing increased skepticism stemming from the flawed implementation of his health care reform law, Obama, using the port of New Orleans as a backdrop, returned to favorite themes to underscore […]


Nov 7 2013 US Poverty Rate Continues To Rise

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government says one in six Americans lived at or below the poverty level last year - about 50 million people in total.
That figure is three million people more than were listed in a report two months ago. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the new figure is based on a revised […]


Oct 31 2013 US Federal Reserve To Continue Buying Securities

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank is going to continue to try to boost the American economy through stimulative measures, saying it needs more evidence the world’s largest economy is improving before cutting back on direct support of it.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would continue to buy $85 billion worth of securities a month […]


Oct 27 2013 US Oil Production Grows Sharply

WASHINGTON - Economists say the United States is in the process of passing Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer. This means less dependence on oil imports, stronger economic growth, and more latitude in dealing with political problems with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East.
 The growing use of […]


Oct 9 2013 Obama To Nominate Yellen For Federal Reserve Chair

WASHINGTON - A White House official has said that President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen to head the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday.
 If confirmed by the Senate, the 67-year-old Yellen would replace Ben Bernanke, whose second term as head of the U.S. central bank ends January 31.
 Yellen is currently the vice chair of the […]


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