Correspondent, Washington
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Sep 29, 2014

U.S. consumer spending accelerates in August

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American consumers spent more in August, a positive sign for the U.S. economy which appears to have shifted into a higher gear.

The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer spending rose 0.5 percent last month after being unchanged in July. The growth in August was just above the median forecast in a Reuters poll of a 0.4 percent gain.

Sep 23, 2014
Sep 22, 2014

U.S. Treasury moves against tax-avoidance ‘inversion’ deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Moving against tax-avoidance by corporations, the Obama administration is taking several actions to curb deals known as “inversions” that allow companies to escape U.S. taxes by reincorporating abroad.

The Treasury Department on Monday announced new rules, effective immediately, that will reduce tax benefits accessible to companies that have inverted and make new inversions more difficult and less potentially rewarding.

Sep 22, 2014
Sep 22, 2014

Obama tries Reagan touch on economy, but wages weigh

WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, stumping for the Democrats ahead of November’s congressional elections, has twice invoked Ronald Reagan’s seminal campaign question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Framing the debate like that helped Reagan twice – in 1980 when he beat incumbent Jimmy Carter, and then again in 1984 when he won re-election during an economic upswing.

Sep 19, 2014
Sep 17, 2014
Sep 16, 2014

U.S. poverty rate falls for first time in seven years

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The share of Americans living in poverty fell last year for the first time since 2006, a sign an improving economy was finally trickling down to the country’s least fortunate households.

Still, the figures from the Census Bureau on Tuesday also showed the average person’s income was essentially flat in 2013 when taking into account inflation, and 8 percent lower than in 2007 when the nation fell into recession.

Aug 29, 2014

U.S. housing regulator seeks more support for poor borrowers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The regulator for U.S. housing finance giants Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB) said on Friday it wants the two firms to provide more support to some low-income Americans taking out mortgages and refinancing their home loans.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released proposed goals for the two state-owned firms for 2015-2017 that would advance agency chief Mel Watt’s aim to widen access to housing credit.

Aug 27, 2014

Stronger hiring boosts outlook for U.S. home sales: Reuters poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Stronger job creation in the United States is making economists more optimistic about the outlook for home resales over the next two years, according to a Reuters poll that showed little change to expectations for house price rises.

The annual pace of existing home sales will likely rise to 5.25 million units in the first three months of 2015 from 5.09 million in the current quarter, according to the poll’s median forecast.