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Wash Post U.S. Economy

U.S. Economy News & Analysis: Search the's in-depth coverage and of the U.S. economic crisis.


Bernanke to hold news conferences 4 times a year

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:32:33 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will begin holding news conferences four times a year to explain the Federal Reserve's interest rate decisions and its views on the economy.

Oil settles lower, below $106 per barrel

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:25:53 EDT

NEW YORK -- After government reports gave a mixed read on the U.S. economic recovery, oil prices on Thursday settled close to where they began.

Media Files:

Business events scheduled for the coming week

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:25:47 EDT

-- MONDAY, March 28 WASHINGTON - Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for February, 8:30 a.m.

Business Highlights

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 17:51:43 EDT

-- --- New-home sales plunged in February to record low

In blow for BofA, Fed rejects its dividend plan

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 16:28:28 EDT

NEW YORK -- It was one more blow for Bank of America: the Federal Reserve didn't allow nation's largest bank to increase its dividends.

Media Files:

Bernanke says bank overhaul will help small banks

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 14:38:50 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a group of executives from smaller banks Wednesday that the financial overhaul will level the playing field for them with the industry's giants.

Business Highlights

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 18:16:57 EDT

-- --- Airlines whipsawed by costly fuel, Japan disaster

Volatile week underscores bull market's fragility

Sun, 20 Mar 2011 16:58:41 EDT

NEW YORK -- When it comes to the mood of the market, strategist Brian Gendreau called what happened on Wednesday Exhibit A.

San Fran set to implement tough local-hire law

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 17:44:18 EDT

SAN FRANCISCO -- As San Francisco prepares to implement what is billed as the nation's toughest local hiring ordinance, the mood at a recent gathering of about 50 local contractors and construction industry representatives was a mix of resigned acceptance and cautious optimism.

Media Files:

Fed deems several major banks healthy enough to boost dividends

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 13:03:00 EDT

The nation's large banks have made major progress rebuilding capital levels that had been depleted during the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve said Friday, as it gave many of the firms the green light to pay dividends to their shareholders.

Japan earthquake's aftermath: Economists more pessimistic about long-term impact

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 00:52:07 EDT

Some analysts predict the tragedy could dramatically disrupt the fragile global economic recovery.

Media Files:

Obama's trip seeks to engage with Latin America

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 00:14:32 EDT

BRASILIA, Brazil -- It lacks the urgency of a nuclear crisis in Japan, or fighting in Libya or the threat of a government shutdown at home. But President Barack Obama embarks Friday on a trip to Latin America that many in the hemisphere consider long overdue and that the White House believes will...

Media Files:

Business Highlights

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:01:17 EDT

-- --- Investors cheer dividend increases at large banks

Investors cheer dividend increases at large banks

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 16:31:54 EDT

NEW YORK -- Bank shareholders got a long-awaited gift from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Friday when the central bank cleared the way for major lenders to increase their dividends.

Yen tumbles vs dollar after G-7 intervention

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:47:34 EDT

NEW YORK -- The yen fell against the dollar Friday after the Group of Seven major industrialized nations moved to weaken the Japanese currency. But the safe-haven dollar dropped against most other currencies Friday following the coordinated currency intervention and a cease-fire in Libya.

Why inflation hurts more than it did 30 years ago

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 11:33:48 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Inflation spooked the nation in the early 1980s. It surged and kept rising until it topped 13 percent.

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Stocks higher after G-7 pledge to restrain yen

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 10:47:23 EDT

LONDON -- Global stocks rose Friday after the world's seven leading industrial nations moved to rein in the Japanese yen, whose surge to record highs this week was hurting a country already brought to its knees by natural disasters.

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U.S., other industrialized nations join in currency intervention to help yen

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 09:50:02 EDT

Major industrialized nations will combine in a rare coordinated currency intervention to keep the Japanese yen from rising too sharply in value in the wake of the country's recent natural disaster, a sign of the deep global concern about the health of the world's third largest economy.

Media Files:

G-7 countries announce joint currency intervention

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 23:06:33 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Finance officials from the Group of Seven major industrialized countries on Thursday agreed on a coordinated effort to weaken the Japanese yen, which has surged to record levels following last week's earthquake and tsunami.

Business Highlights

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 18:16:08 EDT

-- --- Dealers raise some car prices after Japan crisis

Stronger economic reports help stocks rebound

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:51:21 EDT

NEW YORK -- Signs that the U.S. economy is improving helped investors put aside fears over Japan's nuclear crisis Thursday, if only temporarily. It was the first gain in the market after three days of losses.

Media Files:

Strong economic data points to more hiring

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:32:14 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Factories are producing more cars, computers and household appliances, and applications for unemployment benefits over the past four weeks are at the lowest point since summer 2008.

U.S. stocks fall on fears of nuclear disaster in Japan

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:51:03 EDT

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday on escalating concerns about the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan, despite large gains in the Nikkei stock index overnight.

Media Files:

Leading indicators rise 0.8 percent in February

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 11:05:03 EDT

NEW YORK -- A private research group's measure of future economic activity rose 0.8 percent in February, as the job market showed improvement and consumers were more optimistic.

U.S. advisers didn't report early signs of trouble at Kabul Bank, probe finds

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:57:00 EDT

American officials could have mitigated the fallout from fraudulent loans and cronyism.

Dollar at record low against yen

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 22:23:19 EDT

NEW YORK -- The dollar dropped to a record low against the yen late Wednesday as Japan's nuclear crisis deepened. Debt woes in Europe, tension in the Middle East and weak economic reports at home also weighed on the greenback.

Business Highlights

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:54:37 EDT

-- --- Higher prices for food are about to get worse

Nuclear crisis rocks Japanese, global markets

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:52:03 EDT

The worsening nuclear crisis in Japan is triggering a near-collapse in that nation's financial markets and major losses in markets around the globe.

Media Files:

Higher prices for food are about to get worse

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:24:21 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Americans are noticing higher prices at the grocery store, and it's about to get worse.

Media Files:

Current account deficit falls in fourth quarter

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:01:45 EDT

WASHINGTON -- U.S. businesses sold more industrial supplies, chemicals and farm products in the final three months of last year, pushing the deficit in the broadest measure of foreign trade down for the first time since the spring of 2009.

Media Files:

Fed firm on bond-buying policy as global economic risks intensify

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 10:57:00 EDT

With risks swirling around the globe, the Federal Reserve embraced continuity in its policies Tuesday, affirming its plans to keep interest rates low and continue its strategy of buying bonds to support the economy.

U.S. stocks fall despite 5.7% jump in Nikkei

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 10:44:03 EDT

U.S. stocks fell in early trading Wednesday despite large gains in Japan's Nikkei stock index overnight.

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Oil hovers at $97 as traders eye Japan disaster

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 01:56:48 EDT

SINGAPORE -- Oil prices hovered near $97 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a big loss overnight as Japan struggled to control a damaged nuclear plant and cope with a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

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In Brazil, Obama will ask what S. American economy can do for U.S.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 20:56:05 EDT

When President Obama visits Brazil this weekend, he'll ask what South America's economic engine can do for the U.S. economy.

Japan disaster another worry for global economy

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 19:01:44 EDT

-- Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis have put pressure on the already fragile global economy, squeezed supplies of goods from computer chips to auto parts and raised fears of higher interest rates.

Media Files:

Business Highlights

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 18:14:16 EDT

-- --- Japan disaster another worry for global economy

Fed says economic recovery on firmer footing

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 17:13:59 EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve offered its most optimistic view of the U.S. economy since the recession ended, even as Japan's nuclear crisis stoked new worries around the globe.

Yen gets boost from Japan worries

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 17:07:26 EDT

NEW YORK -- The U.S. dollar was lower against the Japanese yen late Tuesday as investors worried over the nuclear crisis in Japan and the worldwide sell-off in stock markets

Japan crisis puts world financial markets on edge

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 16:53:04 EDT

NEW YORK -- Fears over the escalating nuclear crisis in Japan overtook financial markets around the globe Tuesday, pushing stocks and other investments lower. The Japanese stock market lost 10 percent of its value, and Wall Street dropped steeply before bouncing back.

Media Files:

How Fed policymakers hold power over your purse

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 15:53:18 EDT

-- The Federal Reserve's chief policymaking group has vast power over the finances of ordinary people, businesses and investors. The consequences of its interest-rate decisions range wide: from people's ability to get affordable loans to the price of cereal at the grocery store or gasoline at the...

Treasuries climb as official says Obama to seek spending freeze

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 13:07:01 EDT

Yields on 10-year notes fell the most in almost three months as the Bank of Japan's efforts to provide liquidity and expand an asset-purchase program failed to stem an equity selloff, which sent the Nikkei 225 Stock Average down as much as 14 percent and sapped U.S. stocks. Two-year note yields...

U.S. Stocks Drop as S&P 500 Falls to Lowest Level Since January

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:41:01 EDT

General Electric Co., which is in talks to sell reactors to India, fell 2.5 percent. Alcoa Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. slumped at least 1.4 percent as commodity prices fell amid speculation demand will slow. Intel Corp. dropped 3.1 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its recommendation for...

Japan boosts US debt purchases, but it is likely to scale back foreign holdings after crisis

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:01:02 EDT

WASHINGTON - Japan increased its holdings of U.S. government debt for an eighth straight month in January. But the second-largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds will likely scale back its purchases of foreign holdings, and even sell off some, in coming months to divert money toward rebuilding a natio

Japan boosts holdings of US debt in January

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:58:59 EDT

WASHINGTON -- Japan increased its holdings of U.S. government debt for an eighth straight month in January. But the second-largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds will likely scale back its purchases of foreign holdings, and even sell off some, in coming months to divert money toward rebuilding a...

Worried investors buying traditional safe havens: dollar, Swiss franc and even yen

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:08:00 EDT

NEW YORK - Investors worried over the nuclear crisis in Japan and the ensuing worldwide sell-off in stock markets are buying up the globe's traditional safe-haven currencies: the dollar, Swiss franc and even the Japanese yen.

Fed meets as risks widen; policymakers aim to guard against inflation while fostering growth

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:15:01 EDT

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday at a time of widening economic risks: higher oil and food prices; unemployment near 9 percent; crises in the Middle East and Japan.

Fed meets as economic risks widen

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:11:00 EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday at a time of widening economic risks: higher oil and food prices; unemployment near 9 percent; crises in the Middle East and Japan.

As Fed faces widening risks, it aims to guard against inflation while also fostering growth

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:20:02 EDT

WASHINGTON - Higher oil and food prices. Unemployment near 9 percent. Crises in the Middle East and Japan.

Emmett J. Rice, Federal Reserve governor and father of U.N. ambassador, dies at 91

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:27:04 EDT

Emmett J. Rice was a World Bank official and member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Media Files:

U.S. markets shrug off Japan quake

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 22:37:01 EST

The U.S. stock market barely reacted to the largest earthquake to ever hit Japan, as the level of damage from the disaster remained unclear.

Obama, McConnell, agree _ and disagree _ on budget

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:55:01 EST

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and the Senate's top Republican both declared on Friday they want to take on the huge entitlement programs driving America's long-term deficits - but their lines of attack differed sharply and that could lead to a showdown over government borrowing.

Media Files:

Quake and tsunami a blow to fragile Japan economy

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:39:55 EST

-- The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday forced multinational companies to close factories, fight fires and move workers, inflicting at least short-term damage on the Japan's fragile economy.

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AP national news calendar

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 15:57:10 EST

-- Eds: Major scheduled events for the week of March 13-19, 2011. Note that many events, especially court appearances, are subject to change at the last minute.

Business events scheduled for the coming week

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 14:20:15 EST

-- MONDAY, March 14 TOKYO - Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King speaks in Tokyo.

Stocks sink amid concerns out of China and Europe, continued turmoil in Arab world

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:00:00 EST

New concerns about a widening U.S. trade gap and slowing Chinese growth combined Thursday with other signs of economic trouble to undercut some of the confidence about a recovery that has been building.

February budget deficit highest ever for any month

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 19:40:01 EST

WASHINGTON -- The government ran the largest-ever budget deficit for a single month in February. The shortfall kept this year's annual deficit on pace to end as the biggest in U.S. history.

Who'll pay bigger fees for your debit card use?

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 19:10:49 EST

WASHINGTON -- Bankers and merchants, pillars of the business world and frequent allies, are embroiled in a bitter lobbying battle over something Americans do 38 billion times a year - swipe their debit cards. Both sides vigorously claim to speak for consumers.

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