commerce department

U.S. Consumers Spend Big in November

U.S. consumer spending posted its largest increase in five months in November, the latest suggestion of sustained strength in the economy as the year winds down.

Happy Chinese New Year! Your Item Is Back-Ordered

Chinese New Year kicked off on Monday, and the celebration of the new lunar cycle will effect you than you might think. When the country that manufactures so much of what we buy goes on vacation for two weeks, U.S. retail can hardly act like it's business as usual.

Next Commerce Chief Will Play Key Role on Exports

This week, President Obama announced that he's nominating Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as U.S. Ambassador to China. There are several short-list contenders to replace Locke at Commerce, but the question is: Who would best be able to help Obama double U.S. exports in the next five years?

Coming to America: U.S. Cities Attract More Global Tourists

Nearly 60 million foreigners visited the U.S. in 2010. Where did they go? The most popular destinations included New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. The Big Apple is particularly appealing, drawing a record 48.7 million, big-spending foreign tourists.

Retail Sales: November Stole the Show from December

U.S. shoppers piled up the presents under their Christmas trees, but retailers were still a bit disappointed by their holiday haul. The Commerce Department's official tally shows what many suspected: Consumers took care of most of their shopping in November this year.

White House Calls for Online 'Privacy Bill of Rights'

The Obama administration has called for a "privacy bill of rights" to protect consumer privacy on the Internet. The Commerce Department released an 88-page report that also proposed a Privacy Policy Office to coordinate online privacy issues, The Wall Street Journal said.

Record Corporate Profits Are Coming Out of Workers' Hides

The Commerce Department reports that U.S. corporate profits have hit historic highs, so why isn't the GOP -- the party of business -- celebrating? After all, those profits are coming not from revenue growth -- which would benefit workers and executives -- but from cost cutting.

Retail Is Hoping for a Mildly Merry Christmas

The third-quarter earnings season got off to a mildly optimistic start for retailers, with department stores expecting the colder weather will heat up holiday sales, even as shoppers continue to seek cheap deals and generally hold back on spending.

Third-Quarter GDP Rose to 2% on Consumer Spending

Consumer outlays increased at the best pace in about four years -- providing some hope that the expansion can continue. The rise from the second-quarter rate of 1.7% was in line with economists' expectations. Soaring imports were a big drag on the growth report.

Construction Sector Woes Worse Than Expected in July

The U.S. construction industry went from bad to worse in July, and then retroactively worse still. The Commerce Department announced Wednesday that spending in the sector fell a worse-than-expected 1% in July, and revised June's estimate downward from a 0.1% increase to an 0.8% decline.

Economic Growth Revised Lower for Second Quarter

U.S. economic growth slowed to an anemic 1.6% pace in the second quarter, due primarily to a worsening trade imbalance. The sole ray of light in the Commerce Department's report was that the downward revision was not as severe as economists had expected.

Durable Goods Orders See Weak Gain in July

The less-than-expected durable good orders gain in July is more evidence that economic growth slowed in summer. This will likely increase pressure on the Fed for action to jump-start a U.S. economy that's operating well below potential.

Consumer Spending and Personal Incomes Both Flat in June

Consumer spending and personal incomes were both unchanged in June after rising 0.1% and 0.3% respectively in May, the Commerce Department said in a statement. "Consumers are still hunkered down," Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody%u2019s Economy.com told Bloomberg News before the report. "The second half of this year we%u2019re going to see slower spending."

GDP Growth Weaker in the Second Quarter

The U.S. economy down-shifted in the second quarter as it grew a tepid 2.4%: too slow a pace to reduce unemployment and boost sales. However, that disappointing stat was offset somewhat by an upward revision of first-quarter GDP growth to 3.7% from the previously-estimated 2.7%.

U.S. GDP Grew 2.4% in Second Quarter, Commerce Dept. Says

U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of 2010 from the first quarter, according to an advance estimate from the Department of Commerce. Real GDP growth in the first quarter was 3.7%, the statement said.

Durable Goods Orders Fell 1% in June

Durable goods orders fell 1% in June, the second straight monthly decline. New orders in June fell $2 billion to $190.5 billion, the Commerce Department said in a statement. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.6%. Excluding defense, new orders fell 0.7%.

Two More Reports Hint at a Slowing Economy

On the heels of Intel%u2019s better-than-expected June quarter earnings report, the latest U.S. business inventory and import/export reports suggest the nation's economy slowed somewhat in the second quarter.

June Swoon: Overall Retail Sales Slow Slightly

Shoppers picked up clothes and electronics last month, but they curbed their spending on housewares and stuck to the sales racks -- signals that the consumer recovery continues in fits and starts.