South-Westerns' Economic News Summaries
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EconNews Online is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest economics news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
Title  Brief Summary 
Credit Buying on the Increase
Full Summary
American consumers seem to be turning more and more to credit cards in order to keep on spending. The recent data suggests that credit card debt is growing faster than expected. Economist had predicted an increase in consumer credit of about $4 billion but it came in at nearly $7 billion.

(Updated June 2007)
Durable Goods Trend is Up
Full Summary
Previous concerns of weak durable goods orders have been somewhat quelled by the latest figures. The upward trend in durable goods orders is generating expectations that the U.S. economy can experience decent economic growth even with the current slowing in the housing industry.

(Updated June 2007)
Consumer Spending on the Rise
Full Summary
Consumer spending increased by 0.8 percent in June, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The increase is largely a result of auto manufacturers' current sales incentives being offered to consumers.

(Updated November 2005)
Consumers Spend for Christmas
Full Summary
Consumer spending has been on a roller coaster ride through much of 2004, but all indications show that retailers will enjoy a lift from Christmas season consumer spending. The creation of 337,000 jobs in October was the largest since March, and will also aid the consumer spending growth, which had been somewhat hampered by rising interest rates in 2005.

(Updated January 2005)
Consumers' Power
Full Summary
The European economy has slowed significantly in the second quarter of 2004. Economist are expecting the slow growth to continue as consumers are holding on to their money instead of spending it.

(Updated November, 2004)
The Long-run Importance of the Service Sector
Full Summary
The service sector of the U. S. economy receives about 58 percent of consumer spending. An index of this giant sector of the economy rose to a record high in April. The ability of U. S. firms to export services at anywhere near the rate of domestic consumption could substantially improve the economy and generate new jobs.

(Updated June, 2004)
Sales Drive Forward
Full Summary
Retail sales for the month of December rose 1.2 percent according to recently released figures from the Department of Commerce. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so the outlook for consumer spending is critical to the economic recovery.

(Updated April 4, 2003)
A Crude Strike
Full Summary
Internal strife in Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, sent oil prices to their highest levels in two months. Economists are optimistic about economic growth for 2003, strikes and political unrest in Venezuela that lead to further oil price hikes may mitigate that optimism.

(Updated February 5, 2003)
It's Supposed to be a Two-Edged Sword
Full Summary
Now that stock prices have fallen, economists are wondering why the decrease in wealth has not significantly reduced consumer spending.
(Updated September 1, 2001)
An Early Christmas Present
Full Summary
Approximately $38 billion in tax rebate checks are due to be delivered to taxpayers starting this summer. If taxpayers follow historical patterns, they will immediately spend about a third of it, providing a slight stimulus to the economy.
(Updated July 1, 2001)
Hot Gas Prices May Cool the Economy
Full Summary
Gasoline prices jumped 15 percent last month, to an average of $1.66 a gallon. Increases in gasoline prices are much like tax increases, in that they reduce discretionary income and, in the midst of a slowing economy, could throw the economy into recession.
(Updated June 1, 2001)
The Pauper Effect
Full Summary
One of Alan Greenspan's primary objectives in raising interest rates was to moderate wealth effect spending that resulted from soaring stock markets. Now the Nasdaq and the Dow are both down, and the declines have erased about $2 trillion in stock value and virtually eliminated wealth effect spending.
(Updated January 1, 2001)
A DC Story
Full Summary
Though the U.S. economy has grown remarkably over the last several years, not all regions in the country have had the same experience. The Washington D.C. region has had a higher rate of job growth and a lower unemployment rate than the nation as a whole in the past few years, because the kinds of goods it trades.
(Updated July 1, 2000)
Greenspan at Risk
Full Summary 
A typical prescription for the stock market's continued ascent is for the economy to avoid inflation and recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has over the year touted the economic growth, coupled with low inflation that the "new economy" has experienced.
(Updated December 1, 1999)
Crop Forecasts Drying Up
Full Summary 
The Eastern United States was subject to a severe drought this past summer and many consumers feared the effect of this drought on their food bills. The Agriculture Department cut its harvest forecast for the Eastern U.S. to reflect the impact of the drought; however, crop output in the Midwest will be great enough to keep grain prices from increasing.
(Updated October 1, 1999)
Battering, Bailing and Floyd
Full Summary 
Economic-as well as meteorological-forecasts were made of the impact of hurricane Floyd, which was expected to cause more damage than it did and to possibly be a drag on economic growth. Assessing the impact of hurricane Floyd has led some economists to conclude that the storm may actually boost economic growth.
(Updated October 1, 1999)
OPEC Exercises
Full Summary 
The U.S. and the rest of the world have been enjoying falling energy prices for most of last year. The OPEC and major oil producers such as Mexico and Norway are trying to change that -- their plans for oil production have already caused oil prices to increase by 20 percent.
(Updated May 1, 1999)
With A Little Bit of Luck
Full Summary 
East St. Louis, Illinois was in trouble. The city was in debt, there was no money for gas for the city’s police cars, trash was piling up, and there wasn’t even enough money to light up the downtown at night. A savior appeared in the form of a casino….
(Updated August 12, 1998)
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