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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Naroff Economic
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May from April, a hopeful sign for economic growth. American companies sold more products in Europe and China, while cheaper oil lowered the amount spent on imports.
Americans bought more electronics, started home improvement projects and updated their wardrobes last month, inspired by warmer weather and a healthier job market.
Americans' income rose in December by the most in nine months, a hopeful sign for the U.S. economy after a year of weak wage gains. But consumers didn't spend any more than they had in November.
Consumers are giving a modest lift to the economy. They spent more on trucks, electronics and building supplies in October to boost retail sales for the fifth straight month.
A spike in oil and food costs pushed wholesale prices up last month by the biggest amount in nearly a year, a trend that could threaten the still-fragile global economy.
Americans spent less at most retail stores in July and inflation remained tame as high unemployment and weak job growth fueled fears of a slowing economic recovery.
The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment.