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The U.S. economy is in a slowdown but not headed into a recession, President Bush said Thursday after new data showed slow fourth-quarter growth and a bigger-than-expected jump in unemployment claims.
The portion of U.S. junk bonds trading at distressed levels rose to 16.9 percent in February, up from 11.1 percent in January in a sign that defaults are headed higher, Standard & Poor's said on Wednesday.
US economic growth in the fourth quarter was unrevised at an annual pace of 0.6 percent, slowed by a collapse in spending on new homes and a slump in inventories.
Asian markets ended mostly lower Thursday as worries about the sickly U.S. economy were exacerbated by a falling dollar, which could prop up U.S. firms at the expense of Asia's exporters.
French consumer confidence fell to its lowest in more than two decades in February as accelerating inflation made households less inclined to make big-ticket purchases, national statistics office INSEE said on Thursday.
South Korea posted its biggest monthly current account deficit in almost 11 years in January as the goods trade account swung to a deficit while the services account deficit rose, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Japan's industrial production fell twice as much as expected in January, sending stock prices lower on heightening concern that the country's economy may slow down or even contract in the first quarter of 2008.
Oil slipped more than $1 Wednesday as rising inventories in top consumer the United States clipped a record rally past $102 a barrel.
The federal regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will lift an investment cap, in a move that will free up billions of dollars for the mortgage finance companies.
Fed Chairman Bernanke warned Congress that the nation is in for a period of sluggish business growth and sent a fresh signal that interest rates will again be lowered.
Market expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates fail to consider the dangers of higher inflation, ECB Governing Council member Axel Weber said on Wednesday.
New US single-family home sales fell 2.8 percent in January to the lowest rate in nearly 13 years while the median sales price slipped and the housing overstock shrank.
Applications for U.S. home mortgages plunged to their lowest level this year, as rising long-term interest rates curbed incentives to refinance, an industry group's data showed on Wednesday.
New orders for long-lasting US-made manufactured goods fell by 5.3 percent in January, the biggest drop in five months and more than analysts expected.
The dollar sank to a new low against the euro after the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank said Wednesday that the U.S. would encounter more sluggish economic activity in the coming weeks and months.
How serious is the risk of inflation? It depends on which Fed governor you ask.
The text of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Febuary 27, 2008.
Housing's in the tank, banks are scared to lend, but oil is at $100 a barrel and inflation is threatening to pick up -- what's a central banker to do?
The euro's exchange rate is shaped by the market but excessive volatility is unwelcome, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday as the euro hit record highs against the dollar.
Asian markets closed higher across the board Wednesday, marking a third straight session of gains. Hong Kong was the best performer, closing over 3 percent higher, and Japan ended over 1 percent up.
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