NEW YORK, April 17- U.S. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits ticked up 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 for the week ended April 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank also said factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region picked up in April at a faster clip than expected.» Read More
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.
Australian business investment unexpectedly fell last quarter as the booming mining sector took a breather, though firms still upgraded already ambitious spending plans for coming months.
Japan's industrial production rose in October from September, signalling firm corporate activity and steady exports, but the data did little to alter views that the Bank of Japan will not raise interest rates until next year.
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 Fed's No. 2 official signaled a willingness to cut interest rates further, saying renewed financial market turmoil could slow the economy more than thought.
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.
The dollar rallied to one-week highs against the euro, the yen and the Swiss franc Wednesday with investors betting the U.S. currency's recent slump to multiyear lows had gone too far.
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.
Consumer confidence in Germany fell for the fourth consecutive month despite the end-of-the-year holiday season, driven by fears surrounding the strong euro and high prices, according to a survey released 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.
The dollar rose against most major currencies Tuesday after Citigroup Inc. said it will sell a $7.5 billion stake to the Abu Dhabi government, restoring some confidence in battered U.S. banks.
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.
The dollar was little changed against the euro and down against the yen Monday with investors finding few reasons to change their view that more Federal Reserve interest rate cuts are imminent.
The odds now point to a U.S. economic recession that slows global growth significantly even if necessary policy changes are implemented, former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers said.
The euro set a fresh record high against the dollar early Friday, though the $1.50 level remained out of reach when the euro was knocked more than a cent off its peak by comments from a euro zone policymaker.
Singapore's October inflation leapt 3.6 percent from a year ago to a 16-year high, reflecting higher costs for food and transport, data showed on Friday, putting pressure on the central bank to curb rising prices.
The dollar hit new record lows against the euro, the Swiss franc and a basket of currencies on Thursday on growing belief that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.