Economy Articles


Consumer Spending Down

12:14 PM, Mar 02, 2015

Kate Davidson of the Wall Street Journal reports that:

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GDP: Good News Inside the Bad News

9:44 AM, Feb 27, 2015

The economy did not grow as robustly in the 4th quarter as had been thought.  Bloomberg reports that:

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First Time Claims; Up: Inflation, Down

11:36 AM, Feb 26, 2015

The recovery may be slowing and the end of the Fed’s QE efforts receding further into the future.

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Economic Indicators

9:38 AM, Feb 25, 2015

The Obama administration’s line on the economy appears to be that it has finally turned the corner and things are truly humming.  And maybe so.  But there are signs of trouble amid all the good cheer.

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The Meaning of Walmart's Wage Hike

12:01 AM, Feb 21, 2015

Markets work. That’s the message from Walmart’s decision to raise its starting wage for 500,000 of its 1.3 million US employees to $10 per hour starting next year. That’s 37% above the statutory minimum of $7.25.

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White House 'Hoping' Free National Park Pass Program Won't Cost Anything

10:15 AM, Feb 20, 2015

Just weeks after announcing a program to make two years of community college free to all, President Obama has doubled down on "free" by introducing a plan to give all fourth-graders and their families a year of free access to all national parks.

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The Consumer Retreats

3:36 PM, Feb 02, 2015

The first number in a week that will produce many of them, culminating with monthly non-farm payrolls, is not promising for the recovery.

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Disappointing GDP

12:34 PM, Jan 30, 2015

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.

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Soft Durables

11:48 AM, Jan 27, 2015

Predictions of a robustly growing economy may prove as evanescent as yesterday’s winter storm warnings.

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WH: Executive Amnesty Raises U.S. Wages 65 Cents a Day

7:01 AM, Jan 27, 2015

The White House launched a new campaign this week to build support for President Obama's executive action on immigration.

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A Permanently Anemic Recovery?

1:09 PM, Jan 21, 2015

What should be a recovery on steroids – after all, it has had six years to get in shape – is still not up to speed.  If there were as many people in the labor force now, as there were when President Obama came into office, the unemployment rate would be close to 10%.  And the spirit of entrepreneurship has dimmed to the point that, as Gallup finds:

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The Legacy and the Middle Class

4:31 PM, Jan 19, 2015

Barack Obama and his disciples began worrying about his legacy even before he took office.  He would not be satisfied to be judged competent or good.  He was going to be a transformative president.

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Report: College Graduates Lack Skills for White-Collar Jobs

11:07 AM, Jan 19, 2015

The president is proposing more higher education (at the community college level) as a cure for our economic woes.  Along with some substantial tax increases, of course.  But is more college the answer?

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Spike in First Time Claims

9:50 AM, Jan 15, 2015

Bloomberg is reporting that:

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Consumption Contraction

1:41 PM, Jan 14, 2015

 Lucia Mutikani of Reuters writes:

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Obama: 'America Is Coming Back. And I Want to Go Full Speed Ahead.'

1:39 PM, Jan 10, 2015

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.

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The American Economy vs. the World's

12:00 AM, Jan 10, 2015

It’s us against them—an American economy on the upswing vs. a global economy that definitely is not. Last year the U.S. economy added almost 3 million jobs, the largest number in fifteen years. The headline unemployment rate is down to 5.6 percent, and the so-called U-6 unemployment rate, which includes workers involuntarily working short hours and those too discouraged to look for work, although still too high at 11.2 percent, is at its lowest level since 2008.

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Jobs & the Economy: A Start

10:45 AM, Jan 09, 2015

It was a good year for jobs. As Bloomberg notes:

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Warning: Approach 2015 With Caution

9:00 AM, Jan 03, 2015

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:

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Claims Jumping

9:50 AM, Dec 31, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that first time unemployment claims:

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Confidence on the Rise

2:33 PM, Dec 30, 2014

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.  

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The Wages of Gridlock

2:29 PM, Dec 29, 2014

We’re hearing from all over just how good things are – and are becoming ever more so – and how on top of the game the president is.  There is that 5 percent GDP growth last quarter and an unemployment rate that has dropped below 6 percent (the bar has, obviously, been lowered) and the stock market is burning it up.

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Reason to Be Jolly this Holiday Season

7:35 AM, Dec 27, 2014

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.

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A Very Good Quarter

10:05 AM, Dec 23, 2014

Reason for good cheer.  The Wall Street Journal reports that:

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Eternal Return

3:28 PM, Dec 12, 2014

Not that long ago, the world’s central bankers rushed to rescue a small nation with a colorful history and a very troubled economy.  How everything, but everything, came to depend on the survival of Greece’s economy was never quite clear but the crisis went away. 

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A Battle Over More than Money

11:50 AM, Dec 12, 2014

The new dawn didn’t. There was to be no more sturm und drang, no more brinkmanship, no more government shutdowns, no more threats of default on America’s debt. Just routine passage of a $1,100,000,000,000 spending bill to keep the government running until next September when the current fiscal year ends. In the event, it was only hours before midnight on Thursday, when funding of most government activities was scheduled to end, that the House of Representatives, by a vote of 219-to-206 passed the so-called continuing resolution that will keep all of the functions of government, both the necessary and the wasteful, in operation. No, it was not a split in the Republican party that brought us once again to the brink of shutdown, although some Republicans, eager to show their distaste for the president’s unilateral action in freeing millions of illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation did cause, did defect. It was the Democrats who almost succeeded in shutting down the government and President Obama, not House speaker John Boehner, who had to struggle to get this resolution passed. The battle will have important consequences for the shape of American political life during the two years remaining of his term, and perhaps far into the future. Here’s why.

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Europe Battles American Disruptors

12:00 AM, Dec 06, 2014

The European Parliament has called for the dismemberment of Google, the French want  “les Gafa,” as they call Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, reined in, EU regulators are under pressure to get tough with the Americans. And the leaders of Silicon Valley’s non-tax-paying, privacy-invading, dominant tech firms, to use EU descriptives, are surprised.  They shouldn’t be.

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Good Jobs

8:42 AM, Dec 05, 2014

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.

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Beef Rises to Record Prices

11:43 AM, Dec 04, 2014

Good news: price of gas down.  Bad news: price of beef up.  Seems that while oil is plentiful, slaughter-weight steers are not.

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Slow Shopping

10:47 AM, Dec 01, 2014

American consumers restrained themselves over the Thanksgiving holiday.  With regard to shopping, at any rate.  As Hiroko Tabucchi of the New York Times reports:

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