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Business/Economy

  • Fed to spend $600B in latest bid to help economy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve will sink $600 billion into government bonds in a bold plan that it hopes will drive interest rates even lower than they already are and start the chain reaction that finally creates jobs and invigorates the economy.

    The Fed said Wednesday that it would buy the bonds at a rate of about $75 billion a month through the middle of next year. The idea is to encourage people to spend more money and stimulate hiring, both ways of accelerating economic growth.

  • Deal or punt decision on Bush tax cuts is Obama's

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Will Congress extend the Bush tax cuts into 2011 in the weeks after Tuesday's election or let the automatic increase start cutting into most people's paychecks early next year?

    It's really pretty much up to President Barack Obama.

    Despite the punishment his fellow Democrats are expected to take from voters, Obama has shown no sign of retreating from his insistence that families and small businesses with incomes above $250,000 return to higher, Bill Clinton-era tax levels starting Jan. 1.

  • 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.

  • 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.