United States Department of Commerce

Stock Futures Rise on Glimpse of U.S. Manufacturing Data

Stock futures headed higher Monday with investors getting a peek into the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector. The Commerce Department is expected to report that companies boosted orders for durable goods as 2012 came to a close.

U.S. Trade Gap Hit $48.7 Billion in November

The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced only modest growth in exports. The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade gap widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October.

The Weirdest Things Your Taxes Pay For

Sen. Tom Coburn has released his Wastebook 2012, a look at over $18 billion in projects that are bizarre and hard to justify. Admittedly, that's just a drop in the federal budget. But ... Thoreau-based video games? Robot squirrels?! Take a peek at our gallery of weird government expenditures.

Ups and Downs: Stock Gains Dented by Twists in Fiscal Cliff Talks

An early gain on the stock market shrank after House Speaker John Boehner said little progress was being made in budget talks. The DJIA had been up as much as 77 points Thursday, then briefly turned negative after Boehner's remarks at 11:30 a.m. But markets rapidly headed back into positive territory again.

U.S. Trade Deficit Falls to Lowest Level Since December 2010

The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in almost two years as exports rose to a record high, a gain that is not expected to last given the global economic slowdown. U.S. exports climbed 3.1 percent to an all-time high of $187 billion.

Retail Sales Up 1.1% in September

Americans stepped up their spending at retail businesses in September, reflecting their growing confidence in the economy. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. That followed a 1.2 percent increase in August. Both were the largest gains since October 2010.

U.S. GDP Grew at 1.3% Rate in Second Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, held back by the severe drought that reduced farm production in the Midwest. The growth rate was lowered from a previous estimate of 1.7 percent, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Cheaper Oil Pushes U.S. Trade Deficit to 18 Month Low

The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in 18 months in June, pushed down by a steep drop in oil imports and a small rise in exports. The trade gap narrowed to $42.9 billion in June, down from $48 billion in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Clearance Sales Lured Shoppers to Boost Spending in July

Hot weather and clearance sales drew Americans into stores in July, giving retailers solid sales gains and helping offset worries about jobs and the economy. Three-quarters of retailers reporting results said they beat expectations.

As Holiday Season Begins, a Mixed Bag of Economic News

The news from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis was mixed Wednesday. Consumer spending rose in October, but just barely. Incomes were up a bit, but savings did too. And employment figures were just conflicted.

We'd Rather Buy iPhones Than Clothes, Report Reveals

Though Americans aren't buying homes, clothes, gas, or furniture, we're still spending on gadgets, according to Tuesday's retail sales report from the Department of Commerce. Overall retail sales rose 0.6% in October, mostly due to higher electronics and appliance sales.