US economy

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Consumer Confidence Takes Worrisome Tumble

Index is at its lowest point since August

(Newser) - US consumer confidence fell to a reading of 96.1 in November as rising coronavirus cases pushed American optimism down to the lowest level since August. The November reading released Tuesday by the Conference Board represents a drop from a revised 101.4 in October, the AP reports. Economists were... More »

Final GDP Number Is One for the Record Books: 31.4%

That's the Q2 contraction

(Newser) - The US economy plunged at a record rate in the spring but is poised to swing to a record increase in the quarter that just ended. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday in its final estimate for the April-June quarter that the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of... More »

Fed Plans to Leave Rates Unchanged Until 2023

Central bank says it will accept higher inflation

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve expects to keep its benchmark interest rate pegged near zero at least through 2023 as it strives to accelerate economic growth and drive down the unemployment rate. The central bank also said Wednesday that it will seek to push inflation above 2% annually. The Fed left its... More »

2 More Companies Announce Layoffs

MGM Resorts and Coca-Cola join the list

(Newser) - Two more big companies announced layoffs on Friday:
  • MGM Resorts will lay off 18,000 people as the casino industry struggles to recover. That represents about a quarter of the company's American workforce of 68,000 before the pandemic took hold, reports the Wall Street Journal .
  • Coca-Cola said it
... More »

Jobless Claims Remain Above a Big Threshold

Once again, more than 1 million apply for benefits in the last week

(Newser) - Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs even as the housing market, auto sales, and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse, per the AP . The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number... More »

Virus Did Unprecedented Things to the GDP

It fell by a staggering 33% annual rate in 2nd quarter

(Newser) - Economists were bracing for an awful report card Thursday in regard to the pandemic, and it was indeed awful. The US economy shrank by an unprecedented 33% annual rate in the April-to-June quarter, reports the Wall Street Journal . It is by far the worst figure for gross domestic product since... More »

Hiring Is Stronger Than Expected in June

Unemployment dips to 11.1%, but this was before new round of shutdowns

(Newser) - US employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month, yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring, per the AP . The nation has now... More »

Pending Home Sales Saw Record Rebound in May

'The outlook has significantly improved'

(Newser) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rebounded a record 44.3% in May after a record-breaking decline the previous month, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sidelined both buyers and sellers. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of pending sales rose to... More »

'Exhausted' Retailers See Some Record-Setting Good News

US retail sales jumped 17.7% from April to May, but retailers aren't out of the woods yet

(Newser) - US retail sales jumped by a record 17.7% from April to May, with spending partially rebounding after the coronavirus had shut down businesses, flattened the economy, and paralyzed consumers during the previous two months. The Commerce Department's report Tuesday showed retail sales have retraced some of the record-setting... More »

With Jobless Numbers, 'Recovery Appears to Be Underway'

But debate continues between GOP, Dems on whether to extend unemployment stimulus relief

(Newser) - America has started its economic recovery process, reopening businesses in phases across the nation, and the labor market numbers are beginning to reflect that. Per a Thursday release from the Department of Labor, the number of people drawing unemployment benefits for the week ending May 30 fell to 20.9... More »

Stocks Jump After Big News From Fed

Interest rates expected to stay near zero until 2022

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep buying bonds to maintain low borrowing rates and support a US economy mired in a deep recession with high unemployment. And it said nearly all its policymakers foresee no rate hikes through 2022. The Fed has cut its benchmark short-term rate... More »

Record Expansion Is Over: We Entered a Recession

Economists say it began in February

(Newser) - The US economy entered a recession in February, a group of economists declared Monday, ending the longest expansion on record. The economists said employment peaked in February and fell sharply afterward, marking the beginning of the downturn, per the AP . The economists make up a committee within the National Bureau... More »

Trump: It's a 'Great Day' for George Floyd

President celebrates the jobs numbers, speaks of need for 'fair treatment' from police

(Newser) - "Victory lap." That's the term used by the AP and CNN to describe President Trump's reaction to Friday's surprisingly strong jobs report . "This shows that what we've been doing is right," Trump said in the Rose Garden, referring to the White House... More »

Virus Clobbers Retail Sales, US Factories

Both industries see record drops

(Newser) - US retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, per the AP . The Commerce Department’s report Friday on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so quickly that sales over the past 12 months... More »

Trump's Top Economic Advisers Warn Things Will Get Worse

Unemployment rate could end up higher than 20% by next month, one predicts

(Newser) - The US economy is in rough shape, and things are going to get worse. That was the dire prediction from not one but two of the White House's top economic advisers Sunday, per the Washington Post :
  • "The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get
... More »

'And Now, It's Gone': What the Jobs Report Will Hold

US is expected to have wiped out a decade's worth of jobs

(Newser) - The monthly jobs report is out at 8:30am ET Friday, when we'll find out just how grim the April employment numbers are. The March report was "shocking," without even showing the true brunt of the coronavirus pandemic's impact since the relevant surveys end mid-month. Media... More »

Millions More Join the Ranks of the Unemployed

20% of US workers have filed for unemployment aid

(Newser) - Another 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total over seven weeks to 33.5 million—or one in five Americans who were employed as of February, per the AP . Economists had predicted 3 million claims, Reuters reports. The week ending May 2 was the... More »

1 in 6 American Workers Seeking Unemployment Aid

Another 3.8M join the ranks

(Newser) - More than 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the US economy slid further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s, per the AP . Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since... More »

'Devastating Force' of Virus Rampages Through Q1 GDP

US economy shrank at 4.8% annual rate last quarter—and it's estimated to fall 40% in Q2

(Newser) - The US economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country and began triggering a recession that will end the longest economic expansion on record. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and... More »

With Millions More Laid Off, a Dire Prediction From Economists

After 5.2M more file for unemployment, unemployment rate could hit 20% in April

(Newser) - The wave of layoffs that has engulfed the US economy since the coronavirus struck forced 5.2 million more people to seek unemployment benefits last week. Roughly 22 million have sought jobless benefits in the past month—easily the worst stretch of US job losses on record. All told, nearly... More »

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