A penny more for gas, $1 billion less for Walmart

April 27, 2012

Jessica Wohl and Chris Reese contributed to this post.

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For every penny rise in the price of gas at the pump, U.S. customers of Walmart take a collective $1 billion hit to their disposable income.

More Americans find aging is a gateway to poverty

April 27, 2012

Over the last several years, more Americans have found that aging has left them in the clutch of poverty. Between 2005 and 2009, the rate of poverty among American seniors rose as they aged, as did the number of people entering poverty, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Blame small government for U.S. GDP downer

April 27, 2012

Weak U.S. economic growth in the first quarter was driven in part by a pullback in business investment — but a sharp decline in government spending also played a role. Gross domestic product grew 2.2 percent, well short of the Reuters consensus forecast of 2.5 percent. Business spending fell 2.1 percent while government expenditures saw a 3 percent drop linked to lower defense spending. Consumer spending proved a bright spot in the report, climbing 2.9 percent. Still, there is concern that this too could fade because an unusually warm winter may have brought some spending forward.

Bernanke: U.S. is not Japan, and I have not changed my mind

April 26, 2012

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Of all the questions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked during his press conference on Wednesday, one appeared to pique his interest in particular: Was he being less aggressive as central bank chairman than the advice he dished out to Japan as an academic in the 1990s would prescribe?

UK recession in charts

April 25, 2012

Britain’s economy slid into its second recession since the financial crisis after official data unexpectedly showed a fall in output in the first three months of 2012:

An upward bias in jobless claims revisions

April 20, 2012

Weekly data on applications for unemployment benefits have gained renewed importance since a weak March payrolls number left economists wondering whether a tentative labor market recovery was about to cave again. The last two weeks’ readings were just soft enough to leave investors thinking the country’s unemployment crisis may not be healing very quickly.

Five reasons why the Fed would prefer to avoid QE3

April 19, 2012

The Fed appears to have moved away from the notion of additional bond purchases in recent weeks, for a  mix of tactical and practical reasons including:

U.S. housing slump: Six years and counting

April 17, 2012

Just as Americans begin to regain some hope that the housing sector might be on the mend, we get another batch of data showing the sector’s not quite there yet.

Federal Open Mouth Committee – Today’s lengthy list of Fed speakers

April 12, 2012

Thursday, April 12

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley speaks on regional and national economic conditions before the Center for Economic Development, 0715 EDT/1115 GMT. Audience Q&A expected.

The going gets tougher for Italy and Spain

April 12, 2012

One trillion euros is a lot of money. And as we have previously noted on this blog it did a lot for stock markets early this year but not much for the real economy.