Economists downgrade their forecast for US growth in 2014 from 2.5 percent to 1.6 percent. A tepid economy usually hurts the president's party in an election year. Can competing data help Democrats dodge the blow?
Since 1975, Congress has sought to keep domestic crude oil at home, for use by American consumers. Signs are afoot that the Obama administration is ready to ease the ban and let some oil be exported. Here are the basics.
New home sales and US consumer confidence both reached their highest levels in six years. New home sales increased by 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units, while consumer confidence rose to 85.2.
The third quarter's 4.1 percent growth rate is only the second time in the 4-1/2 year economic recovery that quarterly GDP growth topped 4 percent. Forecasters see in the report more evidence that the economy is gaining traction.
New home construction in November hit the highest rate since 2008. The housing recovery is accelerating despite a rise in mortgage rates. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue.
Retail sales November posted their biggest gain in five months as US consumers ramped up spending on cars, appliances, furniture, and online purchases. The rise in retail sales bodes well for the rest of the holiday shopping season.
The youngest adults aren't buying big-ticket items like cars and houses at the same rate as their Boomer parents, but they are willing to spend on electronics and digital technology. Retail sales for September seem to reflect that.