Martin Crutsinger

US central bank may react to market plunge

A plunging stock market may force the Federal Reserve to step in and keep America from sliding back into recession.

Standard & Poor’s downgrades US credit rating

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded the US credit rating for the first time since 1917.

Geithner: Global recession losing force

United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday that the global recession seemed to be losing force.

US trade deficit declines slightly

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.

Bush defends economic record

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''.

Higher energy prices push up US consumer inflation

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.

US Fed leaves interest rates unchanged

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%.

G8: Middle East violence overshadows agenda

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 upset with US stance on Chinese currency

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.

US Budget deficit hits record level

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.

US spending gets more colourful

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.

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