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consumer spending

Dec 23, 2011

Spending and incomes show weak November gains

WASHINGTON — Consumers spent at a lackluster rate in November as their incomes barely grew, suggesting that Americans may struggle to keep spending more into 2012. Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent in November, matching the modest October increase, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Incomes also rose 0.1 percent. That was the weakest showing since a […]

Dec 13, 2011

Fed says economy is healthier, takes no new steps

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday portrayed the U.S. economy as slightly healthier and held off on any new steps to boost the economy. Hiring is picking up and consumers are spending more despite slower growth globally, the Fed said in its latest policy statement. Fed officials cautioned that unemployment remains high. And it […]

Dec 13, 2011

U.S. retail sales rises for sixth straight month

WASHINGTON — Americans spent more on autos, furniture and clothing at the start of the crucial holiday shopping season, boosting retail sales for a sixth straight month. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That’s lower than October’s gain, which was revised higher to show a 0.6 percent increase. Still, […]

Nov 30, 2011

Fed says growth moderate, hiring weak

WASHINGTON — The economy expanded at a slow to moderate pace over the past two months in most areas of the country, but overall hiring was weak, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. Modest improvement in all but one of the Fed’s 12 banking districts suggests the economy is growing but barely enough […]

Nov 15, 2011

Oil price again flirting with $100 per barrel

NEW YORK — Oil prices climbed to near $100 per barrel Tuesday following a series of positive reports about the U.S. economy. In midday trading benchmark crude rose 36 cents to $98.50 per barrel in New York. Crude jumped as high as $99.34 at one point. Brent crude, which is used to price many foreign […]

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 4, 2011

U.S. employers add 80,000 jobs in October, unemployment rate dips

WASHINGTON — The American economy added 80,000 jobs in October, and job growth in the two previous months was much stronger than first thought, an encouraging sign as the nation searches for a way out of the jobs crisis. The unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent from 9.1 percent, the first time it has fallen […]

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

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 19, 2011

Social Security recipients to get 3.6 percent more

WASHINGTON — Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009, the government announced Wednesday. The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Wednesday morning. About 8 million people who receive Supplemental Security Income will also receive […]

Sep 28, 2011

Businesses boost orders for equipment, machinery

WASHINGTON — Companies ordered more machinery, computers and communication equipment in August, a positive sign for the slumping U.S. economy. An increase in demand for those kind of longer-lasting factory goods suggests businesses are sticking with their investment plans, despite slow growth and weak consumer spending. Overall orders for durable goods slipped 0.1 percent last […]

Sep 27, 2011

Consumer confidence essentially unchanged

NEW YORK — Consumers’ confidence in the economy remained weak in September after dropping to a post-recession low in the month before as Americans continued to worry about high unemployment and low wages. People were spooked last month over a downgrade of U.S. long-term debt, renewed concerns about the health of European banks and wild […]

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