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Latest economy news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified


Canada's economy grows in June

Ottawa -- Canada's economy gained strength in June, maintaining its advances from April and May, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The agency's composite index indicated all components showed gains except housing and retail sales of durable goods, the agency said.

The composite was 242.5 in June, up from 240.1 in May.

Manufacturing was a strong segment, with new orders for durable goods rising 2.3 percent, the fifth straight gain, StatsCan said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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The first year and a half of President Obama's term has been market by bold initiatives to reshape domestic policies and transform the U.S. economy. And for the most part the administration has followed through on its promises, already pushing through overhauls of the health care and financial systems. 

Fed weighs steps to help economy

Washington -- Officials with the Federal Reserve say they are considering whether to take action to push the U.S. economy forward.

They are worried that economic problems in Europe and with global financial markets could cause the recovery to grind to a halt, The Washington Post reports.

"If the economic situation changes, policy should react," James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told the newspaper Wednesday. "You shouldn't sit on your hands. ... I think there's plenty more we could do if we had to."

U.S. economy sluggish in June

Washington - The U.S. economy weakened in June, dashing short-term hopes for a robust recovery, experts said.

Economic indicators including unemployment, manufacturing, housing, consumer confidence and financial markets slid during June, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The stock market has lost 9 percent of its value in the past 10 trading days.

Employers added only 83,000 jobs last month and the jobless rate dipped to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent, reflecting the hundreds of thousands of people who dropped out of the labor force, the U.S. Labor Department said. Almost 15 million people are unemployed and it appears unlikely the economy will expand enough to boost employment.

Poll: Pessimism increases in Britain

London -- British consumers are more pessimistic about their economy than they were two months ago, a survey released Thursday said.

In a recent survey of 2,008 British adults, 88 percent of respondents indicated the economy was in "poor shape," Angus Reid Public Opinion said.

In addition, 64 percent of the respondents indicated their own financial situation was "poor," 4 percentage points higher than a May survey.

In May, 20 percent of respondents indicated they believed the economy was going downhill. In the current survey, 34 percent indicated the economy was deteriorating.

U.S. markets drop Wednesday

New York -- U.S. stock markets fell Wednesday after Automatic Data Processing said 13,000 jobs were added to the economy May to June.

The extremely modest gains did not match the consensus forecast, which called for the addition of 60,000 jobs.

ADP also warned that Friday's employment report may show weaker results, as hiring for the U.S. 2010 Census peaked in May.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 96.28 points, 0.98 percent, to 9,774.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 1.01 percent, 10.53 points, to 1,030.71. The Nasdaq composite index, at 2109.24, lost 25.94 points or 1.21 percent.

Economy, change doom Calif. TV store chain

Los Angeles -- A Southern California big-screen TV chain is going out of business, done in by a sour economy and changes in the retail electronics business, its owners said.

Ken Crane's Home Entertainment, established 62 years ago in Hawthorne, expanded at one point to include 10 locations but was down to six stores when owners decided to go out of business, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. The stores began liquidating their inventory during the weekend.

Pam Crane and her brother Casey Crane took over the business when their father, Ken Crane, the founder, died in 2004.

Biden applauds green jobs in Michigan

Midland, Mich. -- Vice President Joseph Biden said Monday in Michigan technological initiatives are required to put the U.S. economy back on track.

At a construction site in Midland, where Dow Kokam is building a factory to produce car batteries for electrically powered vehicles, Biden said, "If we just restored the economy that existed in 1995, that is not enough to lead the world."

Battery production at the site is expected to put 800 people to work, as well as provide 1,000 construction jobs to build the factory, The Detroit News reported.