EconomicRecovery

New Jobless Claims Fall Sharply to Four-Year Low

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last fell sharply to the lowest level in four years, a hopeful sign for the struggling labor market, government data showed on Thursday.

Unemployment Aid Applications Rise to 386,000

More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, suggesting hiring remains sluggish. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefit applications rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000.

Painless Investing: Why a New Generation Will Dive Into Stocks

Many Americans have been spooked out of the stock market by Great Recession and its aftermath. But despite their apprehensions, the children of the baby boomers are actually eager to jump into stocks -- primarily because they weren't burned personally by the crash.

US Consumer Spending Slowed in March, Income Rose

Americans increased their spending more slowly in March, suggesting some are worried that their paychecks aren't growing fast enough. Consumer spending increased just 0.3 percent last month after a 0.9 percent gain in February. Income grew 0.4 percent following a 0.3 percent gain in February.

Why You Should Be Happy About 2.2% GDP Growth

The federal government says GDP grew at a 2.2% rate in the first quarter, and many pundits are calling that number a disappointment: Here's a primer on exactly what the GDP growth rate is, and why 2.2% is nothing to be bummed about.

U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Now Cheaper Than a Year Ago

After dropping for most of the month, gas prices are now lower in much of the U.S. than they were a year ago, possibly part of a larger decline in that could lift consumer confidence ahead of the summer driving season.

Bank of America Bad-Loan Provisions at 2007 Level

Because Bank of America serves about half the nation's households, the results could be seen as a statement about the progress Americans have made in managing their household finances, saving more and paying back debt.

Initial Jobless Claims Hit 4-Year Low as Hiring Gets Stronger

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, suggesting employers kept hiring in March at a healthy pace. Weekly applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Recovery Threatened by Runaway Student Loan Debt

Surging above $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto-loan debt. This debt explosion jeopardizes the fragile recovery, increases the burden on taxpayers and possibly sets the stage for a new economic crisis.

What Boomers, Millennials, Elderly All Have in Common: Money Fears

For the past few years, it has seemed like depressing economic news has been America's only actual growth industry, and all that negativity is still echoing in our heads. Across the age spectrum, we're downbeat about the future, even as the signs are finally looking up.

Factory Output Jumps 0.7% in January

U.S. factories boosted output last month and December ended up being their best month of growth in five years. Strong auto sales and growing business investment in machinery and other equipment are keeping factories busy and helping the economy grow.

5 Reasons We'll See $4 Gas by Memorial Day

Gas prices dropped at a pretty good clip in the latter half of 2011 -- down around 20% to about $3.25. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because gas is back on the rise. It's near $3.50 now, and the key trends all signal that it'll keep going higher.

Factory Output Surge Lifted U.S. Economy in December

U.S. factory output surged in December by the most in year. Stronger demand for business equipment, vehicles and energy offered the most visible evidence that manufacturing has roared back from the depths of the recession. The Fed said Wednesday that manufacturing increased 0.9% in December, the biggest gain since December 2010.

Retail Sales Inched Up in Dec. to End Record Year

Retail sales inched up by just 0.1% in December, but the gain was enough to lift sales to a record level for 2011. It marked the largest annual increase in more than a decade, and confirms that the economy was strengthening as the year ended.

Consumer Confidence Index Surges in December

Americans are gaining faith that the economy is on the upswing. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index surged to the highest level since April and is approaching a post-recession peak. The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 10 points to 64.5, up from a revised 55.2 in November.