Political Capital

Carlos Torres

A job fair attendee  in Los Angeles.

Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

A job fair attendee in Los Angeles.

Jobs Euphoria? Americans Not Feeling it

Before we get too optimistic about Friday’s jobs report, consumers are taking some air out of the balloon. The New York-based Conference Board today reported that its consumer confidence index slipped in April from a six-year high a month earlier....

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An employee assembles a roller on the automated teller machine (ATM) production line at a manufacturing facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, on July 16, 2013.

Photograph by Ty Wright/Bloomberg

An employee assembles a roller on the automated teller machine (ATM) production line at a manufacturing facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, on July 16, 2013.

Jobless Rate Likely to Drop — Just Not Quickly

It’s becoming less difficult to find a job. That’s the best indication yet that the unemployment rate will keep falling, though not quickly. The share of Americans saying jobs are currently hard to get dropped to 33 percent this month,...

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A new home under construction stands at the Toll Brothers Inc. Cattail Overlook development in Glenelg, Maryland

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A new home under construction stands at the Toll Brothers Inc. Cattail Overlook development in Glenelg, Maryland

New-Home Stock About to Dry Up?

Unexpectedly weak data on residential construction from the Commerce Department today may mean the supply of new houses on the market is going to get very slim. That’s the conclusion reached by economists at Morgan Stanley in New York. The...

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Ice cream is your weakness instead? Down 1.7 percent over the past month alone, the biggest decline since June 2009.

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Ice cream is your weakness instead? Down 1.7 percent over the past month alone, the biggest decline since June 2009.

May Consumer Prices: Cookies, Drugs

Have a sweet tooth and are under a doctor’s care? Then you’re probably seeing record-low inflation. The consumer-price index climbed 0.1 percent in May, the Labor Department reported today, less than the 0.2 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by...

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Contractors smooth the concrete on a curb at Skanska USA Building Inc.'s Inova Health System construction site in Lorton, Virginia.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Contractors smooth the concrete on a curb at Skanska USA Building Inc.'s Inova Health System construction site in Lorton, Virginia.

Payrolls Get U.S. Labor Boost

The figures used by the U.S. Labor Department to adjust changes in payrolls for seasonal variations have represented a higher hurdle so far this year than in the recent past, according to economist John Herrmann. That’s about to change. The...

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A customer using a credit card at a gas station in Miami, Florida.

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A customer using a credit card at a gas station in Miami, Florida.

Deflation Scare Put on Temporary Hold

Concern over disinflation and deflation will probably be put on hold in coming months as commodity prices stabilize, according to economists at Jefferies & Co. in New York. They also contend it will be too soon for Americans to let...

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A woman looks at bags inside a Prada SpA store in the SOHO neighborhood of New York, on May 10, 2013.

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

A woman looks at bags inside a Prada SpA store in the SOHO neighborhood of New York, on May 10, 2013.

Consumer Spending Undercuts ‘Spring Swoon’ Economic Concerns

Data issued last week confirmed the economy grew from January through March at around the 2.5 percent annualized pace calculated by the Commerce Department in its advance estimate released April 26. What the figures also confirmed is that the pickup from the...

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Dental work performed at a free health clinic for the uninsured and underinsured at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Dental work performed at a free health clinic for the uninsured and underinsured at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Health Care Costs Slow: Inflation Curb

The cost of health care in the U.S. is rising at the slowest pace in four decades, helping curb inflation. The consumer-price index dropped 0.4 percent in April from the prior month, a second consecutive decrease and the biggest since...

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A customer browses shoes at a Coach Inc. store in New York.

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

A customer browses shoes at a Coach Inc. store in New York.

Payroll Tax Cut Most Paychecks: Survey

The outlook for consumer spending may hinge on what 55 percent of American households do next. That’s the share of respondents who noticed their paychecks had gotten smaller at the start of the year when the payroll tax reverted to...

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