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Latest Harm Bandholz Items
Consumer confidence soared to a five-year high this month as an improving job market and double-digit gains in home prices lifted consumer spirits, the Conference Board reported Tuesday morning.
U.S. consumers are in an upbeat mood and are preparing to spend more this holiday season than last year's, providing a badly needed boost to the economy. But headwinds from the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy and the year-end political storm brewing in Washington could put a damper on their shopping spree, analysts say.
Europe has been in the second leg of a double-dip recession for nearly a year, officials announced Wednesday — a development that hardly comes as a surprise to the millions of workers protesting record-high unemployment in the streets of Athens and Madrid, or to many U.S. corporations with slumping sales on the continent.
U.S. consumers went on another shopping spree last month, driving up retail sales by a robust 1.1 percent in the second straight month of sizable gains, the Commerce Department reported Monday morning.
U.S. consumers snapped out of a spring funk last month and went on a shopping spree. That sent sales at department stores, restaurants, auto showrooms and other retailers soaring by 0.8 percent, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning.
Reading the economy these days is like taking a Rorschach test: Optimists see signs of progress in each economic report, while pessimists see the end of the expansion and many others host middling views.
The U.S. unemployment rate slipped further to a three-year low of 8.2 percent last month as businesses kept churning out new jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.
Job growth ground to a halt last month in the strongest evidence to date that businesses were hit as hard as consumers by a sharp loss of confidence during the month spawned by Washington's debt crisis and severe turmoil in the world's financial markets.
American workers are getting squeezed, not able to get ahead because anemic growth in their wages is not keeping up with the fast rise in prices for food, fuel and other necessities.