Sluggish employment hampers economic growth

Sluggish employment hampers economic growth

U.S. employment growth likely picked up in April, but probably not by enough to counter other signs that suggest the economy has lost a step in recent weeks. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased by 145,000 jobs, according to a Reuters survey of economists, after braking to a nine-month low of 88,000 in March. […]

Slower than expected growth adds more bad economic news

The economy regained speed in the first quarter, but not as much as expected, heightening fears it could struggle to cope with deep government spending cuts and higher taxes. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday, after growth nearly stalled in the fourth quarter. Economists had […]

Are jobs gaining in the United States?

Are jobs gaining in the United States?

The U.S. economy has enjoyed a four-month stretch of robust job gains, and on Friday the government will report whether that trend endured into March. Economists generally think it did. They predict that employers added a solid 195,000 jobs, according to a survey by FactSet. That’s a healthy gain, although below February’s 237,000 net jobs […]

GOP threats of cuts lead to voluntary downsizing by governments

GOP threats of cuts lead to voluntary downsizing by governments

Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they’ve already gotten much of both. Spending by federal, state and local governments on payrolls, equipment, buildings, teachers, emergency workers, defense programs and other core governmental functions has been shrinking steadily since the deep 2007-2009 […]

Jobless claims up as weak economy continues

Jobless claims up as weak economy continues

The slowdown in the economy persisted early in the third quarter as factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region contracted in July for a third straight month and new claims for jobless aid surged last week. Other reports on Thursday showed home resales slumped to their lowest level in eight months in June and a […]

Retail sales up slightly

Retail sales up slightly

Sales at U.S. retailers rose slightly less than expected in December, while underlying inflation remained tame, suggesting the recovery was strengthening modestly with little price pressure building. A separate report on Friday showed a surprisingly large gain of 0.8 percent in output at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities in December, but cold weather was […]

Bernanke says economy may be hitting stride

Bernanke says economy may be hitting stride

The U.S. economy may finally be hitting its stride even if growth remains too weak to put a real dent in the nation’s jobless rate, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday. Offering no real clues on the future direction of monetary policy, Bernanke sounded cautiously more upbeat than he had in his most […]