martin crutsinger

WASHINGTON | US consumer prices flat in November as energy plunges

WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in November, the best performance since prices actually fell eight months ago. The docile inflation reading reflected a big drop in the cost of gasoline and other energy products. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the unchanged inflation reading last month followed a 0.3 percent jump in prices in … Continue reading WASHINGTON | US consumer prices flat in November as energy plunges

WASHINGTON | Fed chairman says central bank concerned about rural poverty

WASHINGTON  — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the U.S. economy overall is strong but many rural areas are falling farther behind. Powell says unemployment in the poorest rural countries is more than double the national average last year, while those employed or looking for jobs in their prime working years has increasingly lagged during … Continue reading WASHINGTON | Fed chairman says central bank concerned about rural poverty

WASHINGTON | US productivity up 2.3% in third quarter

WASHINGTON— U.S. productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.3% in the July-September quarter, slower than the previous quarter but still an improvement over the weak annual gains of the past decade. Labor costs rose at a modest pace in the third quarter. The third quarter gain in productivity was revised up slightly from an … Continue reading WASHINGTON | US productivity up 2.3% in third quarter

WASHINGTON | Fed survey cites rising concerns about trade tariffs

WASHINGTON— The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy was growing in the fall, but there were concerns about higher tariffs from a widening trade war, rising interest rates and tight labor markets. In its latest report on economic conditions around the country, the Fed said that most of its 12 regions saw moderate … Continue reading WASHINGTON | Fed survey cites rising concerns about trade tariffs

WASHINGTON | Fed Chairman Powell says economic challenges remain

WASHINGTON— Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Monday that despite solid economic progress, the country still faces a number of challenges ranging from slow wage-growth for lower-income workers to sluggish productivity and an aging population. Powell said in remarks at a Fed award ceremony that these challenges remain even though unemployment is near five-decade low … Continue reading WASHINGTON | Fed Chairman Powell says economic challenges remain

WASHINGTON | US construction spending down 0.1% in October

WASHINGTON — Spending on U.S. construction projections fell 0.1% in October, the third consecutive monthly decline, as weakness in home building and non-residential construction offset a rebound in government projects. The October decline matched a similar 0.1% drop in September and followed a 0.4% fall in August, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Construction has been … Continue reading WASHINGTON | US construction spending down 0.1% in October

WASHINGTON | Fed officials express caution about pace of future hikes

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials earlier this month appeared on track to raise its key interest rate again in December, but they signaled that the pace of future rate hikes might need to slow given emerging risks to the economy. Minutes of the Fed’s Nov. 7-8 meeting show that Fed officials expressed concerns about a … Continue reading WASHINGTON | Fed officials express caution about pace of future hikes

WASHINGTON | US consumer spending up strong 0.6 percent in October

WASHINGTON— Consumers boosted their spending in October at the fastest pace in seven months, while their incomes rose by the largest amount in nine months — both good signs for future economic growth. Consumer spending rose a sharp 0.6 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the biggest increase since a similar … Continue reading WASHINGTON | US consumer spending up strong 0.6 percent in October