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Business/Economy

  • NM home sales, prices drop in October

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Realtors group says home sales in New Mexico dropped by 7 percent in October from a month earlier.

    The median price of homes sold also dropped by nearly 3 percent from September to $175,000.

    The sales and price figures were released late Friday by the Realtors Association of New Mexico.

    Executive vice president Steven Anaya says the numbers in New Mexico mirror national trends.

  • NM unemployment fund faces insolvency next August

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Higher taxes on businesses and cuts in jobless benefits will be necessary to shore up New Mexico's unemployment program, lawmakers were told Wednesday.

    The ailing unemployment fund is among the challenges facing Republican Gov.-elect Susana Martinez, who takes office in January and has pledged not to increase taxes.

  • Consumer prices rise moderately but inflation tame

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices rose moderately in October but there was little sign of inflation as the cost of autos, clothing and hotels fell.

    The Labor Department said Wednesday the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 percent last month, an increase from September's 0.1 percent rise. Wall Street analysts had expected a slightly larger increase. It was the fourth straight rise.

    Gasoline prices accounted for most of the increase, rising by 4.6 percent in October, the biggest gain since July.

  • ECONOMIC VITALITY CHIEF GONE AFTER 7 MONTHS ON THE JOB

    Los Alamos County's top economic development leader, Scott Frederick, is no longer employed with the county. The county and Frederick reportedly came to a parting of the ways last Friday afternoon, but details are not being released by officials because it is a personnel matter.

  • Autos drive rise in October retail sales

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales, helped by strong demand for autos, increased in October by the largest amount in seven months.

    The Commerce Department reported Monday that retail sales rose 1.2 percent last month. That was nearly double the gain that had been expected and the largest increase since March. Much of the strength came from a big rise in auto sales. Excluding autos, retail sales rose a more modest 0.4 percent.

  • NM budget deficit at $450M

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The top financial official in Gov. Bill Richardson's administration estimates New Mexico faces a budget shortfall of at least $450 million next year, which is larger than previously projected.

    The worsening budget outlook adds to the problems confronting Republican Gov.-elect Susana Martinez, who takes office in January.

  • Fed bond-buying plan is raising trade tensions

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve's plan to buy more Treasury bonds has incited critics at home to complain of inevitable high inflation and financial turmoil.

    It turns out many foreigners are pretty angry, too. They say the Fed's $600 billion program is a scheme to give U.S. exporters an unfair edge — one that endangers the global economy.

  • Despite drop in jobless claims, unemployment remains at 9.6 percent

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment aid last week, the third drop in four weeks and a sign that more employers are hiring while layoffs are falling.

    If the decline continues, it could signal more hiring in the near future. The report comes after the Labor Department said last week that private employers in October added the most jobs in six months.

  • Council green lights developer

    The long-awaited Trinity Site retail development became one step closer to fruition Tuesday night as the Los Alamos County Council gave the green light for county officials to begin negotiations with North American Development Group.

  • GM reports $2B 3Q profit ahead of stock offering

    DETROIT (AP) — Strong profits on new cars and trucks helped General Motors Co. earn $2 billion in the third quarter, enhancing the company's appeal as it nears next week's initial public stock offering.

    The third-quarter earnings of $1.20 per share nearly match what GM made in the first two quarters of the year combined, aided by profits from overseas and healthy revenue from North America, the company said Wednesday. The earnings were boosted by higher prices from newly introduced models such as the Buick LaCrosse, a midsize luxury sedan.