Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday a resurgence in financial strains in recent weeks had dimmed the outlook for the U.S. economy, signaling an openness to lowering interest rates again.
Softer-than-expected new-home sales and a surge in jobless claims heightened fears of a steep U.S. economic slide.
The White House lowered its U.S. economic growth forecast for 2008 Thursday because of trouble in the housing and credit markets, but said the economy remained resilient and a six-year expansion would continue
The U.S. economy grew at a robust 4.9% rate in the third quarter, but a surge in jobless claims last week signaled a major slowdown in the fourth quarter.
Bear Stearns is only the latest Wall Street firm to cut jobs. In recent months, U.S. banks and financial service companies with banking operations having been slashing tens of thousands of positions.
The economy grew at a slower pace in the late fall as shoppers watched their pennies heading into the busy holiday season.
The economy may avoid a recession in the year ahead but it's almost certain that there will be months of slow growth.
New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods dropped for a third month in a row during October and companies appeared wary about making new investments, according to a Commerce Department report on Wednesday.
U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly sharply in November to a two-year low on worries about rising gas prices and financial market volatility.
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday slashed its target for the expected trough in U.S. benchmark interest rates by a full percentage point, citing an increased probability of recession and the likelihood of a prolonged period of sluggish performance for the U.S. economy.
A parade of economic data in the next couple weeks will tell volumes about the economy and the Fed’s chances for achieving a soft landing.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the number of potential U.S. home-loan defaults "will be significantly bigger" in 2008 than in 2007, the Wall Street Journal's online edition reported.
The mood among consumers hit the skids in November as gasoline prices soared and the housing slump worsened.
The Federal Reserve is expecting slower growth and lower inflation next year. But minutes from the Fed's October meeting show policymarkers were reluctant to cut interest rates further.
A U.S. Treasury report on ways to cut corporate taxes will include discussion of a national sales tax, a senior Treasury official told CNBC.
The Fed and financial markets remain at odds over where the economy and interest rates are heading, and fresh Fed forecasts to be released Tuesday are unlikely to bridge that gap.
The painful collapse of the housing market along with the credit crunch will weigh down economic growth in the final three months of this year and cause economic activity to lag in 2008.
Two top Federal Reserve officials on Friday suggested the U.S. economy is unlikely to need lower borrowing costs even as it navigates a possibly rocky stretch in the economy.
A top Federal Reserve official said it would take sharper than expected slowdown in growth to change the Fed's monetary policy stance in a Dow Jones interview released on Friday, casting doubt on market expectations for more interest rate cuts.
The mortgage crisis could have a "dramatic" impact on the economy by forcing banks and other financial firms to cut lending up to $2 trillion, a Goldman economist said.