economic outlook

What Walmart's Outlook Says About the Whole U.S. Economy

Walmart on Thursday reported higher profits, but offered a weak forecast for the months ahead. The problem? The poor and middle-class Americans Walmart caters to -- and who are big drivers of U.S. spending -- are struggling with rising gas prices, delayed tax refunds and higher payroll taxes.

3 Compelling Reasons to Think an Economic Boom Is Coming

After five rough years, we could be on the cusp of a new economic boom. Not like the mid-1980s or late 1990s, mind you. But the odds that the next five years will be markedly better than the last five years are good, and growing better by the day.

What Obama's Second Term Will Mean for Your Personal Economy

Barack Obama has been re-elected as the president of the United States. A nail-bitingly close election, with the economy consistently being named as the top issue, has been decided. Here are a few things to keep in mind for the days to come.

Romney or Obama: Whose Win Would Ignite an Economic Boom?

According to our exclusive (but unscientific) poll two-thirds of respondents felt one candidate would be better for the country economically. But does history back up their opinions about which party's presidents bring growth and which bring stagnation? You may be surprised.

Thanks a Lot for the Disastrous Economic Legacy, Baby Boomers

Baby boomers were handed the American dream. They enjoyed a jobs boom, falling income tax rates, rising wages and a soaring Dow -- all part of an unprecedented "demographic dividend." And the inheritance they are leaving for the next generations: a giant economic mess.

Oil Prices Slide Due to Global Gloom Over Economic Outlook

The price of oil slipped below $92 a barrel on Monday as closely watched surveys showed the global economy remains weak. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 47 cents to $91.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Wall Street Watch Tuesday: Caterpillar Gets Pessimistic

Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, is cutting its long-term growth outlook. And that's bad news for all around, because this industrial giant's not just a company, it's a global economic bellwether.

U.S. Stock Futures Head Higher as Economists See Growth Ahead

Stock futures are rising with a new survey suggesting that economists are a bit more optimistic about housing and employment. The National Association for Business Economists' forecasters expect modest growth for the rest of 2012, with the pace picking up in 2013.

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.

The Hair Index: What Your Cut Says About the Economy

The oracles who read economic tea leaves have a host of conventional forecasting tools, but housing starts and job growth figures can only tell you so much. To cut through the haze of data, sometimes it takes an unconventional indicator -- for example, the Hair Index.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Roughly Flat in March

Americans are focusing on the good amid the latest barrage of conflicting economic news. The Consumer Confidence Index barely budged in March after hitting its highest level since before the financial crisis began in February.

Surprising Job That Gets Many Americans Into the Millionaire Club

So you want to be a millionaire and you're wondering what it takes? Finding the right career is a good place to start -- think doctor, manager or business owner. But people in at least one field hold a greater chance of living in a millionaire household than you'd ever guess.

Forecasters See Small Pickup in Growth for 2012

A new economic forecast calls for the U.S. economy to make some modest growth strides this year, but not quite enough to significantly reduce the number of jobless Americans looking for work.

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.

5 Ways Europe's Woes Will Hit Your Finances in 2012

By most indications, the U.S. economy is recovering fairly well for the time being. But across the Pond in Europe, another story is unfolding that has the stock market worried -- and it should have your attention, too.

Is It Time to Revive Plans for Home Improvement?

Whether it's adding granite counters to your kitchen or converting your garage into a home theater, nearly every homeowner has some ideas for a makeover. You know all the reasons to wait -- but there are positive signs on the horizon that might encourage you to break out the tools.