The Commerce Department said gross domestic product, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, plummeted at a 3.8 percent annual rate, the lowest pace since the first quarter of 1982, when output contracted 6.4 percent. GDP fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter.
The Labor Department reported that its employment cost index was up 0.5 percent for the quarter, weaker than the 0.7 percent rise that economists had expected. For the whole year, employment costs,… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 30, 2009 at 10:21am —
The Commerce Department said that new orders for durable goods dropped by 2.6 percent last month, an even bigger decline than the 2 percent decline that economists expected. Orders fell 5.7 percent for the year, the second biggest drop on government records, exceeded only by a 10.7 percent plunge in 2001.
The number of new claims for state unemployment benefits increased, up 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 588,000 in the week ended Jan. 24th. This put the number just 1,000 below the… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 29, 2009 at 10:28am —
Boeing Co. (BA) just announced that it plans to slash about 10,000 jobs across its businesses, compared to a prior announcement of 4,500 job cuts from its commercial airplane unit. Job reductions will primarily occur in areas that support productivity and infrastructure, driven through a combination of attrition, retirements, cuts in some contracted labor, and layoffs.
The U.S. House is set to approve today President Obama’s proposed $816 billion economic stimulus package designed to… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 28, 2009 at 11:24am —
If you have read my articles for any length of time, you know that I am a zealot when it comes to goal setting. I constantly set my personal and professional goals. I write them down and watch them come to life and I hope you do the same. But one thing you should keep in mind is that your goals must match your personal value system. If any projected goal doesn’t mirror what you personally believe then your chances of success diminish greatly. Your core values, your personal desires and what you… Continue
Added by James Dicks on January 27, 2009 at 4:01pm —
President Obama heads to Capitol Hill intending to work out differences with Republicans over his proposed economic-stimulus plan. Obama is scheduled to hold separate meetings with both House and Senate Republicans, spending about an hour and a half with lawmakers. The meetings come a day ahead of an expected vote in the House on the stimulus plan, which Obama says will create or retain 3 million to 4 million jobs.
The January Conference Board consumer confidence index fell to 37.7… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 27, 2009 at 10:35am —
Routinely, the stock and bond markets pretty much follow the sentiment of the day. And, at times, it actually gets to be pretty ridiculous. For instance, the stock exchanges were extremely weak the other day based upon the idea that the Asian and European economies were beginning to show some definite weakness. So, it’s not enough for us to concern ourselves with our own economy, now we have to worry about what’s happening in China? Investors seem to worry about just about everything. Some… Continue
Added by James Dicks on January 26, 2009 at 2:17pm —
The index of leading U.S. economic indicators unexpectedly increased in December as the money supply expanded, masking signs of a worsening recession. The Conference Board’s gauge rose 0.3 percent, the first gain in six months, after a 0.4 percent drop in November. The index points to the direction of the economy over the next three to six months.
The National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes rose 6.5% in December to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 26, 2009 at 10:00am —
President Obama and top Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate are meeting to discuss the status of the spending and tax cutting legislation that Obama has demanded to confront an ever weakening economy. The stimulus legislation, priced at about $825 billion and likely to grow, advanced in House committees this week. Republicans were unable to make inroads with their proposals.
Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner says President Obama believes China is… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 23, 2009 at 11:22am —
President Barack Obama's stimulus plan is moving through the House this week, with a second committee likely to approve part of the multibillion dollar package. Members of the House Ways and Means Committee are meting to debate the tax and other provisions of the plan, including a $500-per-worker tax credit that the president has long touted.
The Labor Department reported that initial jobless benefit claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 589,000 in the week ending Jan. 17th, from an… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 22, 2009 at 11:00am —
President Obama is hoping to win quick approval of his choice of Timothy Geithner to be Treasury secretary, but first Geithner has to explain how he missed paying $34,000 in payroll taxes earlier in the decade. Obama's team has signaled that it plans to greatly revise that program with the aim of getting more help to homeowners threatened with foreclosures.
The National Association of Home Builders said the home builders' index fell to a record low 8 in January from 9 in December. At… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 21, 2009 at 10:00am —
Barack Obama took the presidential oath of office at noon today, becoming the first African-American president of the United States before a massive crowd in the nation's capital and millions of viewers around the world. Obama faces high expectations to deliver a rousing speech as he assumes the U.S. presidency. He is confronting the worst economy in at least a generation, marked by massive job losses and a financial crisis that brought Wall Street to its knees.
The Bank of Canada… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 20, 2009 at 10:00am —
U.S. Stock Markets are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
Barack Obama has prepared a "strong message" for banks after he takes over the U.S. presidency tomorrow. Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod said there would be changes in the use of the second half of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) meant to clean out bad assets from the financial system, saying the use of the first half was ineffective and poorly accounted… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 19, 2009 at 10:30am —
Instability in the Euro-Zone is growing as the global economy comes under further pressure. The E-Z is now comprised of 16 nations, all of whom are governed by separate governments, yet only one central bank. The ECB is in charge of setting monetary policy and this week reduced rates to 2.00%. Meanwhile, each government is trying to figure out their own plan to stimulate the respective economies within the Euro-Zone. With some of these countries much smaller and posing greater investment risk… Continue
Added by Scott Nourse on January 16, 2009 at 1:55pm —
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index reading of confidence for January rose to 61.9 from December's 60.1. The index was above economists' expectations of 59.0. The early January reading was the highest since 70.3 in September.
The Labor Department reported that consumer prices dropped by 0.7 percent in December, slightly smaller than the 0.9 percent drop economists expected. For the year, consumer prices edged up by just 0.1 percent, the… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 16, 2009 at 11:29am —
I doubt very much I need to point out how volatile the forex market has been since the end of last year. It's as though we haven't pulled out of "holiday trading." Fear not as this market is far too large now to stay this way very long. So, what do we do in the meantime? You have a few options; one of which is NOT quitting! If the volatility is too extreme for you or you've had some losses and lost confidence, DON'T just leave your computer alone for a month and then come back. There's nothing… Continue
Added by Scott Nourse on January 15, 2009 at 1:30pm —
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the rate-setting Governing Council has no intention of getting stuck in a "liquidity trap." Economists define a liquidity trap as a situation in which short-term interest rates are close to zero but fail to boost the economy. The council voted unanimously to cut the ECB's key rate from 2.5% to 2%, marking a 225 basis point, or 2.25 percentage points, cut in the lending rate since October.
The Labor Department reported that… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 15, 2009 at 10:00am —
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales dropped 2.7 percent last month, more than double the 1.2 percent decline that Wall Street expected. The weakness in consumer spending has been a prime contributing factor to the economy's current swoon and analysts say they don't see that turning around soon.
U.S. import and export prices both fell for the fifth consecutive month in December, as costs for oil and many non-petroleum products tumbled. Import prices dropped 4.2 percent… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 14, 2009 at 1:38pm —
It’s the small things that will add up; some obvious things like saving on your electric bill or re-evaluating your other monthly bills. Take a few moments to go over your personal budget and examine all the money going out and all money coming in. A few simple strategies, like using fewer Christmas lights and limit the time they are on during the holidays (See my last blog), reducing unnecessary expenses around the home or office, car pooling to work and less or more creative types of… Continue
Added by James Dicks on January 13, 2009 at 10:55am —
Federal Chairman Bernanke told a London audience that the stimulus package being modeled by President-elect Obama and Congress could provide a "significant boost" to the struggling U.S. economy. But he warned that such a recovery won't last unless other steps are taken to stabilize the shaky financial system. But he said there will be no lasting recovery without further government action and funds to strengthen the financial system. The timing and strength of economic recovery "are highly… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on January 13, 2009 at 10:00am —
Well it's amazing and here is some background. Shortly after Thanksgiving every year my kids, like all others, get excited about the holiday season. One of the things we like to do is ride around the neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights but this year was strange because more than half of the homes that had lights last year didn’t have Christmas lights up. I was wondering why, until yesterday - now I know.
It took two weeks after Christmas for me to figure it out; I guess I… Continue
Added by James Dicks on January 12, 2009 at 11:00am —