The United States trade deficit declined slightly in July as record exports of farm goods, autos and other products offset a big jump in foreign oil prices. The deficit with China hit the second-highest level yet, reflecting strong demand for Chinese-made goods despite a string of high-profile recalls.
The Bush administration defended its economic record on Friday, following a report that showed the economy lost 4 000 jobs in August, the first job loss in four years. The administration said that the tax cuts enacted in Bush's first term in office were ''helping keep our economy strong, flexible and dynamic''.
Surging energy prices pushed consumer inflation in the United States up by the largest amount in nearly a year in March. Meanwhile, industrial output fell for the second time in the past three months, reflecting a big drop in production at the nation's utilities because of the warmer-than-usual weather.
The United States Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Tuesday for the fourth straight time as worries about inflation continued to trump concerns about the slowing economy. At its final meeting of 2006, the central bank left its target for the federal funds rate at 5,25%.
World leaders were concluding an annual economic summit on Monday in hopes that their statement blaming Middle East fighting on Hamas and Hezbollah and recognising Israel's right to self defence would help break the cycle of violence.
Critics complain the Bush administration once again dropped the ball by failing to cite China for a currency system they see as a prime culprit in the loss of millions of United States manufacturing jobs. The administration said in a report to Congress on Wednesday that China moves too slowly to reform its currency system, but isn't technically a currency manipulator.
A record amount of spending in February pushed the United States government's Budget deficit to the highest level to date for a single month, the Treasury Department reported on Friday. The government had a record monthly deficit of ,2-billion in February.
Appropriate for the coming spring blossoms in the United States, the government is adding a little colour to American wallets. A newly redesigned bill is going into circulation. The new , featuring shades of orange, yellow and red, will join colourised versions of the bill and the bill.