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Patrice Hill

Patrice Hill

Patrice Hill has been chief economics correspondent at The Washington Times since 1994. She previously was a Washington correspondent for the Daily Bond Buyer and worked for Securities Week and Inside E.P.A. She started her career writing a consumer action column carried by the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

Her feature stories showing how the average guy is affected by significant economic trends have earned more than a dozen awards from the Maryland-D.C. Press Association, the Chesapeake-AP Press Association, the Virginia Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Oberlin College.

She can be reached at

Articles by Patrice Hill

Department stores saw a gain of 1.0 percent on sales in January, likely helped by consumers redeeming gift cards they received at Christmas. Restaurants and car dealers, however, saw declines. (Associated Press)

Retail sales inch up despite tax bite

U.S. retailers eked out a 0.1 percent gain in sales last month despite a big increase in payroll taxes that hit more than 100 million middle-class consumers during the month, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Published February 13, 2013

A customer shops at a Nordstrom store in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Retail sales inch up in Jan. after payroll tax increase

U.S. retailers eked out a 0.1 percent gain in sales last month despite a big increase in payroll taxes that hit more than 100 million middle-class consumers during the month, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday morning. Published February 13, 2013

Emissions pledge seen within reach

Greenhouse-gas emissions have dropped dramatically in the United States since 2005, and the nation now appears on track to achieve the 17 percent reduction sought by President Obama by 2020, thanks to a trend toward increased fuel efficiency for vehicles and a switch by power companies from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas made possible by the shale gas revolution. Published February 11, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama visits the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla., in March 2012. (Associated Press)

Barrel half full: Optimists see U.S. oil self-reliance soon

While most scenarios show the U.S. depending on imports of oil from Canada and a few other neighbors for decades to come, the managing director at Raymond James is one of a growing school of bullish analysts who believe that booming production in the U.S. will put energy independence within reach. Published February 4, 2013

Supertankers, which transport half the world's oil, are increasingly destined toward Asian markets. The U.S. and other nations in the Western Hemisphere are becoming more self-reliant. (U.S. Navy Via Associated Press)

Major changes from oil revolution

For Americans who came of age in an era marked by worries about scarce world oil supplies, dominant international oil cartels and unrest in the Middle East, the times are changing — quickly. Published February 4, 2013

After more than two decades of wars and U.N. embargoes, Iraq is back in the oil market just when demand is poised to surge in a way that threatens to drive up prices to destabilizing levels. (Associated Press)

Iraq's flood of 'cheap oil' could rock world markets

The U.S. is not the only nation experiencing a renaissance in oil production. Sidelined for two decades by war, sanctions and political instability, Iraq passed a critical milestone last year by producing 3 million barrels a day of crude oil for the first time since 1990, before the Persian Gulf War, reaching 3.4 million barrels a day by December. Published February 3, 2013

**FILE** Cargo ships are unloaded in December at the Port of Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

GDP reverses course into negative territory

U.S. economic growth unexpectedly ground to a halt at the end of last year, falling from a healthy 3.1 percent gain in the summer to a 0.1 percent contraction in the final quarter, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Published January 30, 2013

**FILE** A couple descend an escalator while shopping at an H&M store in Atlanta on Dec. 12, 2012. (Associated Press)

Payroll tax saps consumer outlook

It was the tax cut that nobody noticed two years ago. And it was rarely mentioned in the fight between Congress and the White House last year over the expiring Bush-era tax cuts. But this month, the payroll-tax cut suddenly registered on everybody's radar screen — when it went away. Published January 29, 2013

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said an effort was made to hit a balance between the abuses that once made mortgages too easy to get and overly strict standards that hampered borrowers with good credit. (Associated Press)

Lenders feeling at home with new regulations on mortgages

Banks and other lenders gave a strong initial review to new rules released by the Obama administration Thursday that protect them from frivolous lawsuits if they follow strict standards for making mortgages that ensure borrowers have the ability to repay. Published January 10, 2013

The New York headquarters of ratings agency Standard & Poor's is pictured in 2011. (Associated Press)

With U.S. fiscal problems unresolved, treasured AAA rating may fall off cliff

The United States looks increasingly likely to lose its gold-plated AAA credit rating in the next few months amid warnings by Wall Street rating agencies that last week's $650 billion "fiscal cliff" deal did not go far enough to reduce $1 trillion deficits and stabilize the debt. Published January 7, 2013

**FILE** A "help wanted" sign is posted on the front window of a clothing boutique in Los Angeles on Dec. 7, 2012. (Associated Press)

Unemployment steady at 7.8 percent in December

The economy continued to grow steadily last month despite Washington's impasse over the fiscal cliff, with unemployment staying at a four-year low of 7.8 percent as businesses created another 155,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. Published January 4, 2013

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Jan. 2, 2013. (Associated Press)

Stocks surge with ‘fiscal cliff’ averted

Wall Street on Wednesday celebrated Congress' vote to prevent sharp tax increases from hitting the economy and causing a recession this year, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging by 308 points. But economic gurus warned that the deal falls short of solving the nation's huge debt problems. Published January 2, 2013