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Latest Capital Economics Items
Americans cut back on their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years and their incomes grew by the smallest amount in nine months, a troubling sign for an economy that is barely growing.
A mixed slate of reports Thursday showed the economy is being held back by high gas prices and sluggish hiring.
The U.S. trade deficit surged in May to the highest level in more than 2 1/2 years, driven wider by a big increase in oil imports and a decline in exports.
Falling energy prices cooled inflation in May and U.S. factories rebounded after natural disasters slowed production for the first time in nearly a year.
Fears that the economy is stalling sent the Dow Jones industrial average down 280 points Wednesday, erasing more than a quarter of the stock market's gains for the year. Treasury bond yields fell to their lowest level since December as traders put a higher value on safer investments.
Consumers paid more for gas and food in April, lifting inflation to its highest level in two and a half years. But inflationary pressures have begun to ease this month and analysts say some prices could taper off by summer.
U.S. companies sold fewer products overseas in February, but the trade deficit narrowed because of a big decline in oil imports.
Damage from the housing bust is spreading to areas once thought to be immune.
Americans earned a little more and spent a little more in February, thanks to a tax cut. But a big part of the extra money went to cover higher gas prices.