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News In Brief

By Robert KilbornJudy Nichols, and Noel Paul / July 31, 2000



The supercharged US economy did not cool off as expected in the second quarter, with the Commerce Department reporting that the gross domestic product accelerated to an annual rate of 5.2 percent. Although consumer spending did slow significantly to 3 percent, this was more than offset by a 19.1 percent pickup in business investment in computers and other equipment. Although the report showed fairly moderate inflation, the findings left open the issue of whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again in August.

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Bank of America Corp., the nation's second-largest in terms of assets behind Citigroup, said it would cut as many as 10,000 jobs over the next year to help increase efficiency. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank employs 150,000 people and has 4,500 branches in 21 states. It already has slashed about 25,000 jobs since its 1998 merger in which BankAmerica combined with NationsBank. Analysts say the announcement was not unexpected as the industry continues to struggle with higher interest rates.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society