Most recent Economies blogs and columns

  • A recruiter waits to meet with job seekers at a career fair, in King of Prussia, Pa. June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

    US Applications for Unemployment Aid Rise to 329K

    WASHINGTON—The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits surged 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 last week, though the gain likely reflected temporary layoffs in... Read more

  • In this April 15, 2014 photo, Charles Rajecky packs a completed blender for warehousing at the Vitamix manufacturing facility in Strongsville, Ohio. The Commerce Department releases durable goods for March on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

    US Durable Goods Orders Up for Second Straight Month

    WASHINGTON—Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods posted a solid gain for the second straight month in March. A key category that signals business... Read more

  • FILE - In this July 17, 2013 file photo, a United Airlines jet plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport, in Whittler City  Calif., passes in front of a Waxing Gibbous moon. United Airlines reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, April 24, 2014. ( AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

    United Loses $609M in 1Q; Fares Don’t Cover Costs

    United Airlines is the one U.S. carrier that can’t seem to get its act together, losing $609 million during the first three months of this... Read more

  • An aerial view of the Coal Hollow Mine May 2, 2012 near Alton, Utah, a coal strip mine is on private property in Kane County, Utah, about 10 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Labor Deptartment Cutting Coal Dust Levels to Help Miners

    WASHINGTON—The Obama administration said Wednesday it is cutting the amount of coal dust allowed in coal mines in an effort to help reduce black lung... Read more

  • In this photo made on Friday, March 28, 2014, construction continues on a housing plan in Zelienople, Pa. The Commerce Department releases new home sales for March on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    US New Home Sales Plunge 14.5 Percent in March

    WASHINGTON—The number of Americans buying new homes plummeted in March to the slowest pace in eight months, a sign that real estate’s spring buying season... Read more

  • FILE - This is a Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013 file photo of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, right, and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as they shake hands as they pose for photos upon arrival at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. The European Union says Greece has reached a major financial milestone that was required if it were to be granted more debt relief. European Commission spokesman Simon O'Connor said Wednesday April 23, 2014 that Greece's government revenues last year exceeded expenditure when interest payment and other items were excluded. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

    Greece Hits Milestone, Opens Way for Debt Relief

    BRUSSELS— Greece has reached a major financial milestone that its creditors demanded as a precondition for being granted more debt relief, the European Commission said... Read more

  • Employees of the Stock Exchange are reflected on a display showing stock price movements in Athens, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Greece confirmed Wednesday that it is returning to international bond markets for the first time in four years amid growing signs of confidence in the country that triggered the European debt crisis. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece Reaches Milestone, Opens Way for Assistance

    BRUSSELS— The European Union says Greece has reached a major financial milestone that was required if it were to be granted more debt relief. European... Read more

  • A picture taken on September 17, 2013 in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, shows a room of power inverters at the French branch of Digital Realty, a company involved in datacenter acquisition, ownership, development and operation. (JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

    Attacks on Payment Systems Less Common Than Other Cybercrimes

    NEW YORK— While Target’s massive data breach last year caused consumers to panic and drew attention to Internet crime, a new study finds that breaches... Read more

  • Is There Any Alternative to Developing an Innovation-Driven Economy? (Shutterstock*)

    Is There Any Alternative to Developing an Innovation-Driven Economy?

    Australia’s long term international competitiveness will depend on its ability to develop an ‘innovation-driven’ economy. This is an economy built on high-value added, R&D intensive,... Read more

  • In this Friday, April 11, 2014 photo, trader Joseph Lawler, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks were mixed Monday, April 21, 2014, in light trading after Japan reported a record annual trade deficit and investors looked ahead to economic data this week from China and South Korea. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Stocks Edge Higher at Start of a Big Earnings Week

    NEW YORK—Stocks were mixed Monday at the start of another major week for company earnings. The stock market also got a lift from an encouraging... Read more

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, photo, the cat Monopoly token rests on a Boardwalk deed next to a die and houses at Hasbro Inc. headquarters, in Pawtucket, R.I. Hasbro Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

    Hasbro Posts 1Q Profit, Sales of Girls’ Toys Rise

    PAWTUCKET, R.I.— Hasbro returned to profitability in its first quarter, driven by sales of girls’ toys such as My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. The... Read more

  • Performers dance near Trax a Chevrolet urban SUV during it's China launch ahead of Auto China 2014 in Beijing, China, Saturday, April 19, 2014. The Trax will go on sale in China starting at RMB 119,900 or $19,300. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Automakers Unveil China-focused Models In Beijing

    BEIJING—Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing... Read more

  • A Ukrainian soldier controls a road  outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. (AP photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Oil Stays Above $104 Amid Ukraine Jitters

    BEIJING— The price of oil edged down Monday but stayed above $104 per barrel as investors watched simmering tensions in Ukraine. U.S. crude for May... Read more

  • FILE - This Sept. 13, 2013 aerial file photo shows tailings produced by informal mining in Peru's Madre de Dios region. A study of mercury contamination from rampant informal gold mining in Peru's Amazon says indigenous people who get their protein mostly from fish are the most affected, particularly their children. The clock has run out for an estimated 40,000 illegal gold miners who had until Saturday to legalize their status in a region of southeastern Peru where fortune-seekers have ravaged rainforests and contaminated rivers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

    Deadline Lapses In Peru For Illegal Gold Miners

    LIMA, Peru—The clock has run out for an estimated 40,000 illegal gold miners who had until Saturday to legalize their status in a region of... Read more

  • In this April 16, 2014 photo, a tassel of corn grows in a field on Pioneer Hi-Bred International land in Waialua, Hawaii. The nation’s leading corn seed companies have farms in Hawaii, but their fields have become a flash point in a spreading debate over genetic engineering in agriculture. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

    Hawaii Is Genetically Engineered Crop Flash Point

    WAIALUA, Hawaii— You can trace the genetic makeup of most corn grown in the U.S., and in many other places around the world, to Hawaii... Read more

  • European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger waits for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to arrive at the European External Action Service headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday April 2, 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and leading EU officials to discuss the dependency of the 28-nation bloc on Russian energy provisions and seek ways for a better diversification of oil and gas imports in the wake of the Crimean crisis. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

    EU Official Against Cutting Russia Gas Ties

    BERLIN— A senior European Union official says he opposes cutting back gas ties with Russia in the next few years but the bloc should work... Read more

  • FILE - This Sept. 28, 2011 file photo shows the Amazon logo on display at a news conference in New York. Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with several tech blogs speculating that the device could be due out this year. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

    5 Features an Amazon Phone Might Offer

    NEW YORK—Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the device could be due out... Read more

  • Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing at the Hutchison Whampoa company's annual results announcement in Hong Kong on March 29, 2011. Li is divesting himself of several large real estate assets in China. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

    Economic Sense: Hong Kong Magnate Li Ka-shing Gets Out of China

    Distorted data, a compromised media, and heavy-handed state interventionism: it’s just hard to predict what exactly is going on in China. If you don’t want... Read more

  • Workers gather on a square before the government headquaters in Wenling, east China's Zhejiang province to protest after an extensive crackdown on workplace safety standards forced the closure of more than 4,500 shoe factories. Local officials ordered extensive safety inspections of factories in Wenling after 16 people were killed when a fire broke out at a shoe factory on January 14, and closed more than 4,500 of those incurring violations, including inadequate firefighting equipment, unlicensed business activities, or building code violations.Thousands of demonstrators besieged the city government office on Monday to protest against the enforcement action, complaining that the closures were driving them out of business. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

    Chinese Trade Group to Mediate Shoe Factory Strike

    BEIJING—Chinese police hauled away dozens of workers Friday to break up a march on a factory complex targeted by tens of thousands of laborers striking... Read more

  • Wal-Mart shopping carts sit outside of a store on February 20, 2014 in San Lorenzo, California.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Wal-Mart Jumps Into The Money Transfer Biz, Loudly

    NEW YORK—Wal-Mart is offering another incentive to its customers to spend more time at its stores. The world’s largest retailer introduced a new money transfer... Read more