Economic News

  • California bill attacks growing corporate wage gap Associated Press - 6 minutes ago

    A California effort to lead a national debate over the growing wage gap between CEOs and average workers took its first step in the state Legislature on Thursday with support from Democratic lawmakers, ...

  • Puerto Rico govt seeks to lure wealthy investors Associated Press - 37 minutes ago
    Puerto Rico govt seeks to lure wealthy investors

    Puerto Rico hopes to persuade wealthy investors to bet on the U.S. territory at a two-day conference aimed at attracting new money amid the island's struggles to recover from a nearly eight-year recession. ...

  • Germany puts military exports to Russia on hold Associated Press - 6 hours ago

    The German government says it isn't authorizing any exports of military goods to Russia at present "because of the current political situation," leaving nearly 70 export applications on hold. ...

  • Applications for US unemployment aid jump to 329K Associated Press - 7 hours ago
    Applications for US unemployment aid jump to 329K

    The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits surged 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 last week, though the gain likely reflected temporary layoffs in the week before Easter. The Labor ...

  • Spanish economic growth seen fastest since 2008 Associated Press - 8 hours ago

    Spain's economy expanded by 0.4 percent in the first quarter, the Bank of Spain estimated Thursday, the fastest growth in six years and further evidence the recovery is gathering steam. The quarterly rate ...

  • Applications for US unemployment aid jumped last week to 329K, likely due to Easter layoffs Associated Press - 9 hours ago

    Applications for US unemployment aid jumped last week to 329K, likely due to Easter layoffs.

  • Eurozone to pay out last tranche of Portugal aid funds in June AFP - 10 hours ago
    Eurozone to pay out last tranche of Portugal aid funds in June

    Portugal will receive its last tranche of aid funds form the eurozone in June, the bloc's rescue fund EFSF said Thursday, as the debt-hit country gets ready to emerge from a multi-billion euro bailout programme. "As we approve the final EFSF disbursement to Portugal, I am very pleased to see the country?s achievements under the financial assistance programme," said Klaus Regling, who heads the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). "Three years ago Portugal had lost market access. Portugal had obtained a rescue package worth 78 billion euros three years ago to avert default, after decades of ballooning wages and state spending led to a massive build-up of public debt.

  • Central bank: Spanish growth doubled in Q1 Associated Press - 11 hours ago

    The recovery in the Spanish economy appears to be gathering steam. Figures Thursday from the Bank of Spain show that economic growth doubled in the first quarter to a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent from ...

  • Ahead of the Bell: US Unemployment Benefits Associated Press - 11 hours ago
    Ahead of the Bell: US Unemployment Benefits

    The Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Thursday. MILD INCREASE EXPECTED: Economists ...

  • IMF to take decision on Ukraine aid on April 30 AFP - 13 hours ago
    IMF to take decision on Ukraine aid on April 30

    The International Monetary Fund will take a final decision on a huge rescue plan for embattled Ukraine on April 30, a spokesman said Thursday. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice could not say what the precise amount of the IMF program would be. The decision to move ahead comes despite heightening tensions over the country in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. On Thursday Russia ordered new military exercises in regions on Ukraine's eastern border, as Kiev seeks to stifle pro-Moscow secessionists.

  • Spanish PM hails 'rebuilt' economy AFP - 13 hours ago
    Spanish PM hails 'rebuilt' economy

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy boasted of a "rebuilt" economy Thursday as fresh data showed the nation's strongest growth rate since a job-wrecking 2008 property crash. The eurozone's fourth-largest economy expanded by 0.4 percent on a quarterly basis in the first three months of 2014, the sharpest increase in six years, the Bank of Spain said in a report, citing initial data. It was the strongest performance since the first quarter of 2008, when Spain was at the tail end of a decade-long property bubble whose collapse wiped out millions of jobs and flooded the nation in debt. "We have rebuilt our economy in record time, we have better foundations and the wind is blowing in our favour," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a speech in Barcelona.

  • Spain shows fastest growth in six years: central bank AFP - 15 hours ago
    Spain shows fastest growth in six years: central bank

    Spain's economy appears to be growing at the fastest clip since a 2008 property crash tipped the nation into a job-wrecking, double-dip recession, the central bank said Thursday. The eurozone's fourth-largest economy expanded by 0.4 percent on a quarterly basis in the first three months of this year, the sharpest increase in six years, the Bank of Spain said in a report, citing initial data. It was the strongest performance since the first quarter of 2008, when Spain was at the tail end of a decade-long property bubble whose collapse wiped out millions of jobs and flooded the nation in debt. "We have rebuilt our economy in record time, we have better foundations and the wind is blowing in our favour," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy boasted in a speech in Barcelona.

  • Spain shows fastest growth in six years, central bank says AFP - 19 hours ago
    Spain shows fastest growth in six years, central bank says

    Spain's economy grew at the fastest rate in six years in the first quarter of 2014 as it pulled out of a long, job-destroying downturn, the central bank said in a preliminary estimate Thursday. The eurozone's fourth-largest economy expanded by 0.4 percent on a quarterly basis, the Bank of Spain said in a monthly report, citing initial data. It was the sharpest quarterly growth rate since the first quarter of 2008 when a decade-long property bubble imploded, tipping the nation into a double-dip recession that wiped out millions of jobs and flooded the nation in debt. "In the first quarter of 2014, the Spanish economy continued on a path of gradual recovery in the context of increasing normalisation on the financial markets and a gradual consolidation of the labour market," the central bank said.

  • Greek milestone helps EU move from crisis AAP - 21 hours ago

    Europe's debt crisis is receding farther behind in the rear view mirror. Confirmation from the European Union (EU) that Greece has recorded a primary budget surplus was a key requirement for the country to get more debt relief from international creditors. For more than four years, the eurozone has been grappling with a loss of investor confidence stemming from out-of-control public finances in several countries, such as Greece and Spain. However, the tough austerity medicine that involved big spending cuts and tax rises appears to have stabilised the situation.

  • Putin blocks Russia relaxing budget policy for Crimea -report AFP - 21 hours ago
    Putin blocks Russia relaxing budget policy for Crimea -report

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government not to relax its budget policy in order to finance the newly-annexed territory of Crimea amid fears of a new economic crisis in the country, a report said Thursday. Russia's government is split between senior figures arguing for a more relaxed policy to release funds for Crimea and fiscal hawks arguing strongly for prudence at a time of slumping growth and the risk of recession. The Vedomosti business daily, citing a government source, said that a closed door meeting chaired by Putin on Wednesday had decided against changing Russia's fiscal rule which limits the budget deficit at 1 percent of GDP and links annual spending to the medium-term oil price. It said that the money for huge infrastructure projects in Crimea, which Russia annexed last month from Ukraine in a swoop not recognised by the international community, could now come from the rainy-day National Wellbeing Fund.

  • Venezuela's economic crisis catches up with malls Associated Press - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 3:03 AM AEST
    Venezuela's economic crisis catches up with malls

    Staring through a glass storefront at the Sambil shopping mall, Aleimar Sanchez sees more than a struggling business in the near-empty shelves of a Casio electronics store. She sees a country in sad decline. ...

  • Greek milestone helps Europe put crisis in past Associated Press - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:57 AM AEST
    Greek milestone helps Europe put crisis in past

    Europe's debt crisis is receding farther behind in the rear view mirror. Led by good news from Greece, the eurozone on Wednesday notched up several key milestones that together indicate stronger government ...

  • Huh? IRS Awarded $1 Million in Bonuses to Employees Who Owed Back Taxes Entrepreneur - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 1:14 AM AEST
    Huh? IRS Awarded $1 Million in Bonuses to Employees Who Owed Back Taxes

    While many of us scramble to file on time and avoid penalties, an internal investigation has revealed that IRS workers who owed back taxes were actually given bonuses.

  • Wyoming unemployment rate drops to 4 percent Associated Press - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 12:29 AM AEST

    State officials say Wyoming's unemployment rate fell to 4 percent in March, down from 4.2 percent in February and 4.7 percent a year earlier. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services said Monday the ...

  • Plan would direct pot taxes toward drug education Associated Press - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 12:26 AM AEST

    Colorado would save most of its marijuana tax money while spending about $23 million on school nurses and drug treatment and outreach under a plan approved Tuesday be legislative budget writers. The proposal ...

  • Europe recovery shows signs of strengthening Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 11:40 PM AEST
    Europe recovery shows signs of strengthening

    A closely watched survey has found business activity across the 18-country eurozone running at a three-year high, in perhaps the clearest sign yet that the economic recovery is gaining momentum. Analysts ...

  • Greece hits milestone, opens way for debt relief Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 10:26 PM AEST
    Greece hits milestone, opens way for debt relief

    Greece has reached a major financial milestone that its creditors demanded as a precondition for being granted more debt relief, the European Commission said Wednesday. Additional help from its bailout ...

  • Yields fall sharply in Portuguese debt auction Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 10:24 PM AEST
    Yields fall sharply in Portuguese debt auction

    Portugal's chances of ending its three-year bailout program without requiring more help have increased after interest rates fell steeply in a 10-year bond auction Wednesday. The government debt agency ...

  • Greece reaches milestone, opens way for assistance Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:29 PM AEST

    Greece has reached a major financial milestone that its creditors demanded as a precondition for being granted more debt relief, the European Commission said Wednesday. Additional help from its bailout ...

  • Oklahoma faces budget crisis despite economic boom Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:09 PM AEST

    Oklahoma's oil patch is booming, its capital city is thriving and the unemployment rate is falling through the floor, testifying to the state's roaring recovery from the recession. But even though revenue ...

  • Government finances improved across Europe in 2013 Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 8:17 PM AEST

    Governments across the 18-country eurozone made further headway in 2013 in reducing their deficits, official figures showed Wednesday in a further sign that spending cuts and the nascent economic recovery ...

  • Russian steel group NLMK warns against EU sanctions, job losses AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:48 PM AEST
    Russian steel group NLMK warns against EU sanctions, job losses

    The European arm of Russian steel giant NLMK has warned the EU against imposing economic sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis, officials said on Wednesday. The European Commission confirmed it had received a letter, which was also sent to Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy where NLMK has operations, spelling out that such sanctions would inevitably lead to heavy job losses. NLMK said all concerned should consider the "possible negative impact" sanctions could have on its European business, on consumers and other partners in Europe, as well as on the European economy as a whole, La Libre Belgique reported, citing the letter. Caroline Marlair, a spokeswoman for NLMK Europe, said separately the "letter is not a threat, it is a letter of prevention ... to make people aware of the possible consequences."

  • France outlines 'optimistic' pledge to get economy back on track AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:02 PM AEST
    France outlines 'optimistic' pledge to get economy back on track

    France on Wednesday outlined its strategy for bringing its public finances into line with eurozone rules via an anticipated economic upturn branded "optimistic" and spending cuts that face fierce opposition within the ruling Socialist party. Presenting a plan yet to be approved by the European Commission, Finance Minister Michel Sapin vowed that the eurozone's second biggest economy, currently doing little more than stagnating, would soon pick up sufficient momentum for France to bring its budget deficit down to the EU ceiling of three percent of GDP in 2015. But the government's growth projections from now until the end of President Francois Hollande's term in 2017 were described as "optimistic" by its own independent spending watchdog. France was placed under surveillance by the European Commission earlier this year, having been twice granted extra time to meet the three-percent deficit target that is the centrepiece of the budget rules for members of the European single currency.

  • Eurozone April business activity nears 3-year high: Markit AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:46 PM AEST
    Eurozone April business activity nears 3-year high: Markit

    Eurozone business activity hit a near three-year high in April as a modest economic recovery gained momentum and began creating much-needed jobs, a closely watched survey showed on Wednesday. Markit Economics said its Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for April, a leading indicator of overall economic activity, jumped to 54 points from 53.1 in March, the highest reading since May 2011. "The eurozone has started the second quarter on a solid footing," Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said in a statement. "A welcome quickening in the pace of growth of business activity in April means the region is expanding at the fastest rate for almost three years," Williamson said.

  • Budget faces long-term repair job: PM AAP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:40 PM AEST

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott insists the federal budget faces a big repair job after Labor's six-year reform holiday. The Abbott government's first budget on May 13 will be one of long-term structural reform.

  • Survey: China manufacturing shrinks for 4th month Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:25 PM AEST

    Factory activity in China shrank for the fourth straight month in April, though the decline was slightly slower, a survey on Wednesday said, in a possible sign the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy ...

  • Eurozone deficits improve but debt mounts: data AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:21 PM AEST
    Eurozone deficits improve but debt mounts: data

    Eurozone public finances improved in 2013 as the economy finally turned the corner on a record recession but total debt levels remained dangerously high, official data showed on Wednesday. That was in line with the European Union ceiling and down from 3.7 percent in 2012, the Eurostat statistics agency said. The overall figures are broadly in line with growing signs that the worst of the eurozone debt crisis, which at one point threatened to destroy the euro, is over although several member countries will be applying budget rigour and deep economic reforms for years to come. Public finances in bailed out Greece and Portugal sent signals of marked improvement on Wednesday, Spain signalled faster recovery, and France -- seen as lagging on reforms -- detailed new policies to put its economy in shape.

  • Spain forecasts stronger economic outlook in 2014-15 AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:15 PM AEST
    Spain forecasts stronger economic outlook in 2014-15

    Spain on Wednesday forecast faster economic growth in the next two years as the nation emerges from a long downturn with unemployment still topping 26 percent. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the eurozone's fourth-largest economy would expand by an average of 1.5 percent in 2014 and 2015. Until now, the government's official forecast has been for economic growth of 1.0 percent in 2014 and 1.5 percent in 2015. De Guindos said the brighter outlook would be incorporated into Spain's growth, deficit and employment targets for 2014-2017, which are to be submitted to the European Union.

  • Job Market for College Graduates Improves Slightly The New York Times - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:04 PM AEST

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening — a bit.

  • Portugal raises 750 mn euros in key bond issue AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:02 PM AEST
    Portugal raises 750 mn euros in key bond issue

    Portugal breezed through a key bond market test on Wednesday, enjoying sharply lower borrowing costs just weeks before it exits a 78-billion-euro ($108 billion) rescue programme. The successful bond market auction was crucial for the country, showing it can raise its own finances once the international bailout, extended three years ago, comes to an end on May 17. Portugal will be the second eurozone nation after Ireland to emerge from European Union-IMF bailouts, which have forced crisis-hit governments to apply deeply unpopular austerity measures so as to rein in bulging public deficits. Portugal raised 750 million euros in the auction of benchmark 10-year government bonds, offering a yield of 3.575 percent, according to the body that manages public debt, the IGCP.