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Business/Economy

  • AP survey: Painfully slow economic gains into 2011

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The job market and the economy will improve only slightly next year, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists whose outlook for 2011 has dimmed over the past three months.

    The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists are pushing back their estimates of when key barometers of economic health — hiring, spending, expansion — will signal strength.

  • Tab for Fannie, Freddie could soar to $259B

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government spelled out Thursday just how much the most expensive rescue of the financial crisis will end up costing taxpayers — as much as $259 billion for mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    That figure would be nearly twice the amount Fannie and Freddie have received so far. To date, the rescue of the two companies has cost taxpayers $135 billion. They have repaid $13 billion to the Treasury Department as dividends.

  • Toyota recalling 1.53 million cars globally

    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is recalling 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, for brake fluid and fuel pump problems, the latest in a string of quality lapses for the world's No. 1 automaker.

    Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will call back for repairs about 740,000 cars in the U.S. and 599,000 in Japan. The remainder are in Europe and other markets around the world.

  • Stimulus spending looms large in midterm contests

    DENVER (AP) — A photo of President Barack Obama hangs on the wall in CoraFaye's Cafe, a short walk from the Denver museum where Obama signed into law the most sweeping U.S. economic package in decades in an attempt to put people back to work and end the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

    But the folks tucking into fried chicken and cornbread at CoraFaye's roll their eyes when asked whether the 2009 stimulus made a difference.

  • State projects FY 2012 budget crisis

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson says there's no need to make more budget cuts based on a new revenue forecast.

    The Legislative Finance Committee is to receive projections Wednesday showing revenues down about $40 million in the current fiscal year. But that's partly offset because last year's revenue is more than $20 million higher than expected.

    Spending cuts of 3 percent were implemented in September to close a budget shortfall this year.

  • Dow falls below 11,000 as dollar rises

    NEW YORK (AP) — A stronger dollar and a surprise interest rate hike in China that may slow that country's economy helped push stocks sharply lower Tuesday.

    The Dow Jones industrial average fell below 11,000 for the first time in a little more than a week, reversing a streak that had sent the index up nearly 8 percent for the year.

    The announcement that China, whose rapid growth has helped pull the global economy along, raised a key interest rate to fight inflation sent U.S. stocks lower.

  • Government reports $1.3 trillion budget deficit

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Friday the federal deficit hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year.

    That means the government had to borrow 37 cents out of every dollar it spent as tax revenues continued to lag while spending on food stamps and unemployment benefits went up as joblessness neared double-digit levels in a struggling economy.

  • Government to report on $1 trillion-plus deficit

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is set to report Friday that the federal budget deficit exceeded $1 trillion for the second straight year, providing critics of government spending with fresh ammunition ahead of the midterm congressional elections.

    The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year that ended Sept. 30 will total $1.29 trillion. That's down by $125 billion from the $1.4 trillion in 2009 — the highest deficit on record.

  • Consumer prices, excluding gas, flat last month

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices, excluding energy, were flat in September for the second straight month, a sign that cost-conscious consumers are making it difficult for businesses to charge more.

  • Bernanke: Fed wrestles with size of aid program

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is prepared to take further steps to rejuvenate the economy by buying Treasury bonds but is wrestling with how big the program should be, Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday.

    Bernanke also indicated that Fed policymakers are trying to craft a plan to lift inflation from super-low levels. He made his remarks in a speech delivered to a Fed conference in Boston.