DJIA: 18,162.99  +121.45 (0.67%) | NASDAQ: 5,106.593  +73.842 (1.47%) | S&P 500: 2,123.48  +19.28 (0.92%) Markets status unavailable

  • Show Article Details

    Dispute underscores difficulty passing free-trade deals these days. WASHINGTON-- John McCain is fighting fellow Republicans over catfish again, a long-running battle that goes all the way back to 2001.. The Arizona senator is demanding that Congress eliminate a program to inspect catfish, the only seafood to receive special regulatory treatment from the government.

  • Show Article Details

    A new, detailed look at the finances of millions of Americans shows not just that households don't retain the needed financial cushion they should, but that their consumption has only a very loose connection with the income they are bringing in. That's according to the findings of the new J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, which on Wednesday released a report based on the checking account, credit card use and other information culled from a sample of 2.5 million of its customers.

  • Show Article Details

    Rent still outpacing rise in home prices. America is in a rent crisis and there is no sign of relief on the horizon as rents continue to surge faster than home prices, according to Zillow. Rents in April rose at their fastest pace since 2013, outpacing home values, said the online real estate database company.

  • Show Article Details

    Declaring which metropolis was the most business-friendly community in the U.S. for 2014 would be a rather audacious project for one person, or even a committee of people. That's why we let a computer do it. Our methodology for coming up with a list of America's most business-friendly cities was simple.

  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- The story for some time coming at the Federal Reserve is the large number of people who have given up looking for a job, and those that have settled for part-time work, suggests more slack in the labor market than the unemployment rate on its own, which in turn is a reason why wage gains have been so muted. But in a speech delivered Friday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen discusses why that might not be the only reason wage gains, by most measures, have been so soft.

  • Show Article Details

    Inflation has been weak in recent months, but one economist doesn't think the Federal Reserve has an inflation problem. The consumer price index  rose 0.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday, matching economists' expectations. "Don't look month-over-month, look year-over-year," said Bob Johnson, director of economic analysis at Chicago-based Morningstar.

  • Show Article Details

    The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates this year, if the economy improves as expected, and the pace of future hikes will be gradual, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday. Her comments essentially stick to the message she has sent since the beginning of the year. In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Providence, R.I., Yellen said the economy would pick up from the slow pace of growth seen in the first quarter.

  • Show Article Details

    U.S. Treasuries prices added to their losses on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it would be appropriate to raise interest rates later this year if the U.S. economy shows further improvement.

  • Show Article Details

    The Federal Reserve won't wait too long to raise rates. Delayed action would risk "overheating the economy," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday. Speaking in Providence, Rhode Island, Yellen said the Fed will likely raise its key interest rate this year for the first time in almost a decade.

  • Show Article Details

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the central bank to raise rates this year as the U.S. economy was on course to bounce back from a sluggish first quarter and as headwinds at home and abroad begin to wane.

  • Show Article Details

    The federal tax code is a powerful for reducing income inequality: in general, high-earners are taxed at higher rates than low-income people, with a significant part of that money going toward programs that help the poor, like food stamps and other safety net payments.But we don't usually think as much about the impacts of state taxes on inequality. A team of researchers at the Federal Reserve recently released a paper exploring the topic and found something, if not surprising, discouraging.When it comes to taxes, some states build on federal efforts to reduce inequality, and take steps to further decrease the gap between rich and poor. But plenty of others actually undermine the federal government's anti-inequality measures.In essence, they take from the poor and give that money back to the rich. I've mapped each state's contributions to inequality reduction below. States in green have tax policies that build on the federal tax code, making the gap between rich and poor smaller. States in purple have tax laws that undo federal measures to address inequality.[Some of the content in this entry could not be displayed on this device.]In some cases, the magnitude of the effects are quite large. The tax code Tennessee, for instance, decreases federal anti-inequality efforts by nearly one third. Other Southern states have laws that take a big bite out of inequality relief too. On the other hand, places like Minnesota and Oregon add to federal efforts by 18 percent or so.There's no question that state-level laws can make a big deal of difference when it comes to income and wealth distribution, particularly for lower-income families. Kansas, for instance, recently restricted the amount of money that certain welfare recipients are allowed to withdraw from an ATM at any given time.Withdrawals are now capped, effectively, at $20. If you need to take out $200 in cash to pay rent or bills, you'll now be hit with 10 separate ATM fees. For families living on the economic edge, this could potentially be a disaster.[Read more about why Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor.]Overall, the Federal Reserve authors conclude that "that state-levied taxes, on average, work to exacerbate income inequality." There are a number of factors driving this, including state-level gas taxes, which tend to be regressive (everyone pays the same rate) and serve to moderately increase inequality. On the other hand, state sales tax exemptions decrease inequality. And states that provide a version of the earned income tax credit can see a big reduction in inequality.(h/t David Wessel for first pointing out the new study.)




  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- Medical care service prices jumped in April, a gain that, if continued, could have enormous ramifications for the Federal Reserve and the federal budget. But economists said they didn't think the gain last month was the start of a new trend. Medical services prices jumped a huge 0.9% in April, the strongest pace since the summer of 1990, led by a 1.9% gain in hospital services.

  • Show Article Details

    Germany has lost some of its economic shine recently. Growth in the first quarter from the fourth was just 0.3%, slower than expected. Strikes have hit the headlines.

  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- Landlords kept financial pressure on tenants last month, as annual rent growth far outpaced households' other costs, according to data released Friday. The cost to rent a primary residence rose 3.5% over the year through April, while the overall consumer-price index dropped 0.2%, dragged down by plunging energy costs, the U.S. With homeownership at the lowest rate in 25 years, and the rental-vacancy rate close to the slimmest proportion in more than two decades, 2015 is...

  • Show Article Details

    Business owners fret over increased costs; is it overblown? Employers in Los Angeles are fretting over the city council's move this week to boost the minimum wage by 67% over the next five years, but are their fears overblown? Following the lead of Seattle and San Francisco, L.A. became the biggest city in the nation to adopt a $15- an-hour wage law bringing it up from $9. The measure, approved by a 14-1 margin, has yet to go to Mayor Eric Garcetti for approval.

  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is due to deliver a speech on the economic outlook later Friday, but there may be as much attention paid to what she says about the economic past. The Commerce Department has reported first-quarter gross domestic product grew a scant 0.2%, but there's a big debate over whether the government might have understated the performance. That's due to what's called seasonal adjustment, which is the process for smoothing out data to...

  • Show Article Details

    * Consumer price index rises 0.1 percent in April. * Core CPI up 0.3 percent, largest gain since 2013. * CPI dips 0.2 percent from year ago, core CPI up solidly. * Firming underlying inflation keeps Fed on course. By Lucia Mutikani.

  • Show Article Details

    WASHINGTON-- So-called core consumer prices that strip out volatile energy and food inflation rose by the largest percentage in over two years in April. Core consumer prices rose 0.3% in April, the Labor Department said Friday. This is the biggest gain since January 2013. "Upside inflation risk is no longer a crazy idea," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

  • Show Article Details

    U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in April, the Labor Department said Friday. Energy prices slumped 1.3% last month while food prices were unchanged. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, jumped 0.3%, driven by another increase in housing expenses and also a gain in medical care costs.

  • Show Article Details

    Rising shelter and medical care costs boosted underlying U.S. inflation pressures in April, a welcome sign for the Federal Reserve as it contemplates raising interest rates this year. The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.3 percent last month.