'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The U.S. trade deficit widened in August from July because exports fell to the lowest level in six months. The wider deficit likely dragged on already-weak economic growth.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 35,000 last week, a figure that may have been distorted by seasonal factors.
The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in five weeks. But the drop suggests only modest job growth after three months of weak hiring.
Retail sales barely rose in December, but the gain was enough to lift sales to a record level for 2011. It marked the largest annual increase in more than a decade.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell further last week, ending the year on a three-month run of declines that point to stronger hiring in 2012.
Consumer confidence slipped this month as more people worried that the job market is worsening.
More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but the broader trend in layoffs points to a slowly healing job market. The average over the past month fell to a two-year low.