The economy last month offered up no new jobs in celebration of Labor Day and appears in danger of slipping back into recession despite massive efforts by Congress and the Federal Reserve in the past three years to keep it afloat.
The economy has grown so fragile this year that missteps by the warring factions in Congress could tip it back into recession, economists warn.
The U.S. Treasury next month will go back to relying on the kindness of strangers like never before to purchase the nation's burgeoning debts — and taxpayers may have to pay higher interest rates to attract enough foreign investors, analysts say.
Fears that Japan might start dumping some of its vast holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds to pay for earthquake reconstruction have eased in financial markets.
The disaster in Japan poses major economic challenges for the Asian giant and is interrupting key trade ties with the U.S. and the rest of the world, but it does not threaten to derail the U.S. and global economic expansions, analysts said.
The White House is warning of financial Armageddon this spring if Congress fails to raise the Treasury's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, but many on Wall Street are skeptical that the looming spending clash will produce anything but riveting political theater.
Oil and gasoline prices have risen to their highest levels in two years, and analysts say prices could shoot up dramatically this year as the thirst for fuel grows in the U.S. and around the world.