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commerce department

Nov 23, 2011

Economy gets mixed batch of news ahead of holidays

WASHINGTON — At the start of the critical holiday shopping season, the economy received a dose of mixed news Wednesday. Consumers barely increased their spending in October, and businesses pulled back on investment in long-lasting manufactured goods. Still, Americans’ pay rose by the most in seven months, a sign they may spend more in coming […]

Nov 23, 2011

October durable goods orders fell 0.7 percent

WASHINGTON — Business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in October. While much of the weakness came from a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a key category that tracks business investment spending fell by the largest amount since January. The Commerce Department says that orders for durable goods […]

Nov 22, 2011

Economy grew at 2 percent rate in third quarter

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew more slowly over the summer than the government had earlier estimated because businesses cut back more sharply on restocking of shelves. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2 percent in the July-September quarter, lower than an initial 2.5 percent estimate made […]

Nov 22, 2011

Fed grant to aid planning for western Maryland growth

HAGERSTOWN — The Appalachian Regional Commission is working on a road map for economic growth in western Maryland. U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski announced a $70,000 grant Monday from the U.S. Commerce Department to the Tri-County Council. The council is the arm of the Appalachian Regional Commission serving Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties. […]

Nov 15, 2011

Consumers hit retail stores to give economy boost

WASHINGTON — Consumers are giving a modest lift to the economy. They spent more on autos, electronics and building supplies in October to boost retail sales for the fifth straight month. The gains provide an encouraging start for the October-December quarter just as separate reports show wholesale prices are flattening and U.S. shoppers are spending […]

Nov 10, 2011

Applications for unemployment aid drop to 390,000

WASHINGTON — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level since April, a sign that employers could be stepping up hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dropped to a seasonally adjusted 390,000. It was the third decline in four weeks. The four-week average, a […]

Nov 9, 2011

Wholesale companies cut inventories but sales rise

WASHINGTON — Wholesale businesses in the U.S. reduced their stockpiles in September for the first time in nearly two years, while their sales rose. Inventories at the wholesale level fell 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the first decline since December 2009. The drop was largely because companies cut their stockpiles of […]

Oct 28, 2011

Incomes stall as interest on savings dwindles

WASHINGTON — Americans’ incomes have stagnated for three straight months. Yet they boosted their spending in September 0.6 percent — three times the increase in August. Under normal circumstances, that would be a troubling sign for the economy. But a closer look at Friday’s report from the Commerce Department on September income and spending suggests […]

Oct 27, 2011

Modest growth dispels 2nd recession fears

WASHINGTON — A summer of modest economic growth is helping dispel lingering fears that another recession might be near. Whether the strength can be sustained is less certain. The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But the growth was fueled by Americans who […]

Oct 27, 2011

U.S. economy grew 2.5 percent in Q3

WASHINGTON — A summer of modest economic growth is helping dispel lingering fears that another recession might be near. Whether the strength can be sustained, though, is far from clear. Buoyed by a resurgent consumer and strong business investment, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter, the government […]

Oct 26, 2011

New-home sales up slightly as builders slash prices

WASHINGTON — Sales of new homes rose in September after four straight monthly declines, largely because builders cut their prices in the face of depressed demand. Analysts say the modest increase on the back of reduced prices suggests the struggling housing market is years away from a turnaround. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales […]

Oct 26, 2011

Durable goods orders in U.S. fell in September

WASHINGTON — Companies ordered more heavy machinery, computers and other long-lasting manufactured goods in September, a positive sign for the sluggish economy. The Commerce Department says overall demand for durable goods fell 0.8 percent. But that was largely because of a 25.5 percent drop in volatile commercial aircraft orders. Outside of transportation, orders rose 1.7 […]

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