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Business/Economy

  • Economic growth at a virtual standstill in Q2

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a meager 1 percent annual pace this spring, slower than previously estimated. The downward revision will likely increase fears that the economy is at risk of another recession.

    Fewer exports and weaker growth in business stockpiles led the Commerce Department to lower its estimate for the April-June quarter from its previous rate of 1.3 percent growth. That means the economy expanded only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year.

  • Foreclosures made up 31 pct. of home sales in 2Q

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market.

    Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

  • Feds approve key expansion of NM nuclear plant

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal commission announced approval Wednesday for a uranium enrichment plant in southeastern New Mexico to begin operating more of its massive processing system, which would double the facility's capacity to process nuclear fuel.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized Urenco USA and subsidiary Louisiana Energy Services to bring online two additional sequential enrichment systems, known as cascades. Although Urenco is tightlipped about its technology and its customers, the enriched uranium it produces can be used to supply fuel for nuclear power plants domestically and overseas.

  • Trinity Project slow but steady

     Several members of the Trinity Site Revitalization Project Advisory Committee attended last night’s council meeting to express strong support for county staff negotiations to continue with North American Development Group (NADG) for the development of the Trinity Site.
    Acting County Administrator Randy Autio presented the staff briefing.

  • New-home sales fall, 2011 could be worst year yet

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who bought new homes fell for the third straight month in July, putting sales on track to finish this year as the worst on records dating back half a century.

    Sales of new homes fell nearly 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say represent a healthy market.

    Housing remains the weakest part of the economy. Last year was the worst for new-home sales on records that go back nearly 50 years.

  • US stock futures sink on debt, recession jitters--video extra

    U.S. stock futures are sinking as economic jitters and uncertainty about Europe's finances fuel another day of selling around the world.

    European banking shares fell near two-and-a-half-year lows, dragged down by rumors about the companies' potential losses on bonds issued by heavily-indebted governments. Earlier, Asian shares took a beating, with major indexes in China and Japan losing more than 2.5 percent.

    U.S. markets plunged Thursday in a return to the volatile trading that dizzied traders last week. Bad economic news has forecasters warning that another recession is possible.

  • Unemployment numbers remain staggering

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose back above 400,000 last week. Still, the four-week average, a more reliable gauge of the job market, fell to the lowest level since mid-April.

    The report suggests that the economy is creating jobs but not nearly enough to lower the high unemployment rate.

    Weekly applications rose 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 408,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the highest level in four weeks. Applications have been above 400,000 for 18 of the past 19 weeks.

    The four-week average dropped for the seventh straight week to 402,500.

  • Obama to lay out new jobs plan in Sept. speech

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to jolt the economy, President Barack Obama will propose new ideas to create jobs and help the struggling poor and middle class in a major speech after Labor Day. And then he will try to seize political advantage by spending the fall pressuring Congress to act on his plan.

  • Core wholesale inflation up most in 6 months

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies paid higher prices for tobacco, pickup trucks and pharmaceuticals in July, driving underlying wholesale inflation up by the most in six months.

    This measure of inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is known as the core Producer Price Index. It rose 0.4 percent in July, the biggest increase since January.

    The overall PPI, which measures price changes in goods before they reach the consumer, rose 0.2 percent last month, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That follows a 0.4 percent drop in June, the first decline in 17 months.

    Gas prices fell for the second straight month. Food costs rose 0.6 percent, the biggest rise since February.

  • Obama to give major jobs speech

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking a jolt for the economy, President Barack Obama will lay out new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class in a major speech in early September, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.

    The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Obama's proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his "infrastructure bank" idea to finance construction jobs.