u.s. economy

U.S. Economy Could Handle Short Fall Over 'Cliff'

Even if New Year's passes with no deficit reduction deal, businesses and consumers would not likely panic as long as some agreement seems imminent. The $671 billion in tax increases and spending cuts could be retroactively repealed, and the impact of the tax increases would be felt only gradually.

Consumer Spending, Personal Income Up in November

Consumers spent and earned more in November, reflecting a rebound from the disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.4 percent compared with October. Personal income jumped 0.6 percent, the biggest gain in 11 months.

U.S. Economy Grew at 3.1 Percent in Summer

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent over the summer as exports increased, consumers spent more and state and local governments added to growth for the first time in three years. But the economy is likely slowing in the current quarter.

Bernanke Says Fiscal Cliff Already Hurting Economy

The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the "fiscal cliff" standoff in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. But Bernanke said the Fed believes the crisis will be resolved without significant long-term damage.

Fed Says It Will Keep Interest Rates Low Until Jobs Come Back

The Federal Reserve says it will keep spending $45 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low, with the express purpose of hitting the accelerator on economic growth until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent.

U.S. Economy Grew at 2.7 Percent Rate in Summer

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength is expected to fade in the final months of the year because of uncertainty about looming tax increases and government spending cuts.

Fed Survey: U.S. Economy Growing at a Steady Pace

A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth in October and early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy.

July Jobs Report: 4 Pieces Of Good News Buried In The Gloom

As the Labor Department reported, employers added 163,000 jobs last month -- far more than the 100,000 forecast and the biggest gain since February. But the nation's unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent. Here are four pieces of good news buried in the report.

All Areas of the Country Show Growth, Fed Reports

The U.S. economy started the year off well with busier factories, higher retail sales, more jobs and growth in home sales. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that all 12 of its banking districts reported some level of growth in January and the first half of February. Manufacturing output rose in all districts. Auto manufacturing, steel makers and other metal producers all reported solid growth.

Manufacturing Expands at Fastest Pace Since June

U.S. factories grew in January at the fastest pace in seven months, boosted by a rise in new orders. And builders ended a poor year for construction by spending more on homes and projects for the fifth straight month. The reports bolster other data showing the U.S. economy started the year strong.

Factory Orders Rise, but Business Investment Slips

Orders for factory-made goods that signal business investment plans fell for a second straight month, part of a mixed report on manufacturing in November. The drop in demand for so-called core capital goods was offset by a sharp rise in volatile airplane orders. That lifted overall factory orders 1.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Fed Takes No New Action at Final Meeting of 2011

The Federal Reserve says the economy has grown moderately as hiring and consumer spending have improved. As a result, it's holding off on any new steps to boost the economy. But Fed officials, noting that unemployment remains high and global economic growth has slowed, left open the possibility of taking new steps next year if the economy worsens.

How U.S. Debt Stacks Up Against Other Nations

It's true that the U.S. has racked up the largest debt of any other developed country. But when you consider the debt in relation to the country's gross domestic product, it's only No. 7 on the list, according to Fortune.

Gas Prices Drain U.S. Consumers' Tax-Cut Savings

Americans are earning and spending more, but a lot of the extra money is going down their gas tanks. Gas prices have drained more than half the extra cash Americans are getting this year from a cut in Social Security taxes.

Are Investors Ignoring All the Good News?

With all the tragedy dominating the news these days, it's easy to be pessimistic. But the cold, hard facts about the economy actually paint a more optimistic picture.

Natural Gas: A Cure for America's Crazy Oil Addiction

Events in the Mideast have, once again, revealed the U.S. economy's vulnerability to an oil shock. Now more than ever, the nation must reduce its consumption of oil, especially from abroad, and become energy self-sufficient. And the way to do it is with our abundant domestic sources of natural gas.