10/15/2019

News

No Shutdown for Small Business

Many political reporters have spent the last six weeks cataloging alleged harms to the economy from the partial government shutdown ended last week. Meanwhile outside of government, America’s small companies were ramping up their historic effort to employ new workers. That’s according to the latest National Federation of Independent Business employment survey, due out later […]

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Resilient U.S. Economy Fuels Best January For Stocks in 30 Years

Banks and smaller companies that were among the market’s laggards last quarter have helped stocks to their best January in 30 years, a sign investors are favoring sectors tied to the U.S. economy. Despite a modest performance from U.S. indexes Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both closed the month with […]

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U.S. Economy Is Slowing, Survey Says

The U.S. economy’s brief flirtation with 3% growth is over for now, economists say, cut short by a dimming global outlook, market tremors and sluggish business investment. Gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced in the U.S., grew at a 2.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, economists estimate in […]

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Big Railroads Don’t See Slowdown on Horizon for U.S. Economy

Railroad executives played down concerns about a cooling U.S. economy, which they said remains on solid footing as growing shipments of grain, oil and e-commerce packages offset broader worries over trade policy and volatile stock markets. The chief executives of CSX Corp. and Union Pacific Corp. said conversations with their shippers, which represent a broad […]

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See how far union membership has declined in California

Fewer than 15 percent of California workers were members of a union in 2018, the lowest union membership rate in at least 35 years, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 14.7 percent of the state’s workers belong to a union in 2018, down from 15.5 percent in 2017. The […]

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls for Third Straight Month

Consumer confidence dropped in January for a third consecutive month, likely hit by political discord in Washington, in addition to market and economic uncertainty weighing on U.S. households. The Conference Board on Tuesday said its index of U.S. consumer confidence fell to 120.2 in January from 126.6. It is now down 17.7 points from October, […]

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Manufacturing Unexpectedly Surges in January

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index came in at 56.6 for January, easily surpassing economist expectations for 54 score. This measure of economic activity, which is based on a monthly survey of purchasing managers at roughly 300 manufacturing firms nationwide, had weakened considerably to 54.1 in December and was expected to continue weakening. The […]

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California’s population losses by moving van shrinks 21%

California again had more outs than ins via major moving companies last year, but that gap shrank 21 percent as departures fell faster than arrivals. My trusty spreadsheet — filled with annual state-by-state migration stats from United, Allied and Atlas van lines — shows a continuation of the long-running decline in people moving, in or […]

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Off the Charts: Holiday heartbreak for retailers

The holiday season was a brutal one for U.S. retailers, especially department stores and companies that sell luxury products, and companies and investors alike didn’t see it coming. The U.S. economy has been growing at a steady pace, and unemployment is low and consumer confidence is high. That seemed to set the stage for strong […]

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Los Angeles and Other Cities Stash Money to Prepare for a Recession

Los Angeles officials are socking away money for the next recession. The nation’s second-largest city has set aside close to $500 million across several funds to help weather emergencies and financial shocks, said Matt Szabo, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s top budget adviser. It had about $192 million in reserves before the last recession, which officially lasted […]

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Modern Monetary Theory Doesn’t Make Single-Payer Health Care Any Easier

You may have heard of Modern Monetary Theory, an approach to economics that is increasingly popular on the left, and which is sometimes mischaracterized (by advocates and especially detractors) as holding that budget deficits are either unimportant or inherently good for the economy. This week, freshman representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Business Insider that MMT needs […]

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Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast

Thousands of shale wells drilled in the last five years are pumping less oil and gas than their owners forecast to investors, raising questions about the strength and profitability of the fracking boom that turned the U.S. into an oil superpower. The Wall Street Journal compared the well-productivity estimates that top shale-oil companies gave investors […]

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Dan Walters: California sees slower population growth

The U.S. Census Bureau and the state Department of Finance issue annual population estimates each December and they don’t always agree on how many human beings occupy California. During the previous decade, following the 2000 census, their estimates were as much as one million persons apart – largely because of different calculations of state-to-state migration. […]

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Crime is down in Los Angeles for the first time in five years

For the first time in five years, violent crime was down in Los Angeles in 2018, with the number of homicides on track to be among the lowest in more than 50 years. The data mirror an overall drop in crime this year in the parts of L.A. County patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department, as […]

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U.S. Factory Activity Decelerates Sharply Amid Global Slowdown

American manufacturing growth slowed sharply in December, adding to concerns about cooling economic expansions in the U.S. and abroad. The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its manufacturing index fell to 54.1 in December, the largest one-month drop since the end of 2008, during the financial crisis. Still, a reading above 50 indicates factory […]

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