12:34 PM, Jan 30, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.
Yet, there are still a lot of people who are not in the labor force. Many who are working who haven’t seen any improvement in their economic fortunes for the last six years, and longer. A troubling number of young people who have more debt than prospects.
So it is disturbing when Bloomberg reports that:
The economy in the U.S. expanded at a slower pace than forecast in the fourth quarter as cooling business investment, a slump in government outlays and a widening trade gap took some of the luster off the biggest gain in consumer spending in almost nine years. Gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate after a 5 percent gain in the third quarter that was the fastest since 2003, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent advance.
So the question now is:
Will the recovery … well, recover?
Striking the right balance. Feb 9, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 21 • By CHARLES WOLF JR.
President Obama can’t run again, as he noted in the State of the Union last month, but he sought to use his address to set the tone for the 2016 campaign. His repeated references to “middle-class economics” were tactful code, speaking in front of a Republican-controlled Congress, for that perennial Democratic favorite, the inequality debate.
11:48 AM, Jan 27, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Predictions of a robustly growing economy may prove as evanescent as yesterday’s winter storm warnings.
7:01 AM, Jan 27, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The White House launched a new campaign this week to build support for President Obama's executive action on immigration.
1:39 PM, Jan 10, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama is in a good mood. He believes the country, under his leadership, is heading in the right direction.
"About a year ago, I promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year for America. And this week, we got more evidence to back that up," the president begins his weekly address.
9:00 AM, Jan 3, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Had enough good economic news to see you through the holidays? Good. But if you plan to ask, “Please, sir, I want some more” you might be in store for your own Oliver Twist moment. Here’s why:
2:33 PM, Dec 30, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The economic news has been getting better, especially regarding the price of oil. Which the consumer sees as what he forks over at the pump. And that, as we all know, is one price the trend of which we follow every day.
7:35 AM, Dec 27, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
An estimated 90 million of us will drive 50 miles or more during this holiday season, and recent years’ gnashings of teeth at the pump are being replaced with smiles. The price of gasoline is down 36 percent since April, to a national average of around $2.40 per gallon, with some cities reporting prices of below $2.
8:42 AM, Dec 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The economy added more than 320,000 jobs last month. Against a forecast of 230,000. The unemployment rate holds at 5.8 percent, indicating that many who had previously given up are again seeking employment.
Experts will be going under the hood this morning and fine tuning their reporting. But this is undeniably good news and points, as the Wall Street Journal reports, to the strongest annual job growth in 15 years.
12:00 AM, Nov 29, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
“Give me your tired, your poor … your huddled masses … wretched refuse … the homeless,” implores the Lady in New York harbor. Little can she know that 11.4 million of these “tempest-tost” souls are already here, having arrived illegally, most from Mexico and points south. Some 4-5 million of those illegal, or “undocumented” immigrants to use the description preferred by pro-immigration advocates, no longer are threatened with deportation orders.
3:45 PM, Nov 22, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Some 140 million bargain-hunting customers will descend on retailers on Thanksgiving Day, so-called Black Friday, and throughout next weekend -- or at least those who haven’t shopped already or by early next week will head for the shops. Not so long ago most stores remained closed on Thanksgiving Day, on the assumption that families preferred to spend the holiday enjoying uninterrupted togetherness, downing some 46 million turkeys and watching football. No longer. Walmart, Macy’s, and many others are opening their doors on the holiday.