Economic Measures Inflation

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  • U.S. productivity in the fourth quarter rose at a stronger-than-expected pace as the biggest cutback in working hours in nearly five years helped restrain growth in labor costs, a U.S. Labor Department report showed on Wednesday.

  • Dollar and Euro

    The dollar edged lower against the yen and the euro Wednesday with investors reluctant to place big bets on currencies ahead of a key interest rate decision from the European Central Bank on Thursday.

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    The European Central Bank is likely to keep its title as the last inflation hawk standing at its rate-setting meeting Thursday, but as fears of a global economic slowdown grow, calls for easing will only increase.

  • The most likely path for the US economy is sluggish growth for at least half a year before a gradual recovery begins, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said.

  • The euro tumbled broadly Tuesday after dismal euro zone service sector data fedexpectations the European Central Bank also might have to cut interest rates to shore up growth.

  • Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke

    If the health of the economy is so murky, why has the Federal Reserve been so aggressive in cutting interest rates?

  • Euro zone service sector growth slowed sharply in January from an already weak estimate and retail sales fell in the key Christmas period, according to data on Tuesday that stoked fears of a recession.

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    Australia's central bank on Tuesday raised interest rates to a decade peak of 7 percent, as it struggled to keep inflation under control, and left the door open for even more hikes if the red-hot economy did not cool soon.

  • Australian consumers went on a shopping spree last quarter, data showed on Tuesday, giving a boost to an already red-hot economy and reinforcing the case for an imminent rise in interest rates.

  • Dollars and Euro

    The dollar slipped against the euro and edged up against the yen Monday as investors waited to see how major central banks at policy meetings this week will respond to a potential global economic slowdown.

  • manufacturing_car_2.jpg

    New orders at U.S. factories rose a less-than-expected 2.3 percent in December, the steepestgain since July, on strong aircraft sales, a government report showed.

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    The labor market may be weak, but that doesn't necessarily mean the US economy is in recession or on the verge of one.

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    Australia's inflation headache worsened in January while house prices boasted double-digit gains in 2007, figures out on Monday showed, adding to expectations for a restraining rise in interest rates this week.

  • The dollar rose against the euro and sterling Friday after a report showed a gauge of U.S. manufacturing in January was higher than expected, helping the U.S. currency recover after soft labor market data earlier in the session.

  • Manufacturing Cars

    The U.S. manufacturing sector staged a surprise recovery, while consumer sentiment improved in January, but construction spending in the U.S. fell for the third month in a row, reflecting continued weakness in the housing sector.

  • Unemployment Line

    U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 17,000 non-farm jobs in January, the first time in nearly 4-1/2 years that U.S. payrolls shrank.

  • A Chinese woman works at a textile factory in China.

    After falling for years, prices of Chinese goods sold in the United States have been rising.

  • Help Wanted Sign

    The first nonfarm payroll report of the year could bring some relief to the market if payrolls rise as expected. But seasonal factors bringing more volatility than usual make the report particularly hard to handicap.

  • Dollar_pileofBills3.jpg

    The dollar edged higher against the euro Thursday, as dealers cut bets against the U.S. currency a day ahead of the U.S. jobs report for January that may shed light on how close the economy is to recession.

  • Cash Register

    Consumers spent less in December than at any time in the past 15 months while applications for unemployment benefits soared last week, two more signs the economy is weakening.