September 16, 2013 |
Moderation in all things seemed to be the theme of this month's Beige Book report for the Philadelphia region. While the Philly50 might be underwhelmed by the report's somewhat tepid view of the region's recovery - "moderate growth" was a recurring phrase - local firms might still take heart in a few hints of better days to come. Among the positives: Despite hesitancy and vacillation in other areas, consumers continued a recent buying spree when it comes to automobiles, particularly pickup trucks.
August 28, 2013
Do you feel like you're working harder than ever, but your pay isn't keeping up? That's probably because you are - and it's not. A new study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that while the productivity of the average American worker increased nearly 75 percent between 1979 and 2012, his real income during that period grew only 5 percent. The New York Times interviewed a cashier at a KFC in Manhattan who, after eight years on the job, earns only $7.75 an hour. She hasn't had a raise since 2007.
July 29, 2013 |
Joan Shepp talks shop standing near the display window of her iconic Walnut Street boutique, her voice shifting from uncharacteristic, unsure whisper to typical fashion-savvy confidence. She's in a pickle. Her self-named specialty store, with its curated selection of high-end designers from Rick Owens to Ann Demeulemeester, has played a major part in shaping Walnut Street - west of Broad through 19th - into Philadelphia's poshest place to shop. But it's her success, and that of other chic independents along five Rittenhouse Square blocks, that has helped spike the value of commercial real estate in the last two years and, ironically, has led to her exit - at least off the best blocks in the strip.
July 28, 2013 |
BEIJING - China's government has ordered companies to close factories in 19 industries where overproduction has led to price-cutting wars, affirming its determination to push ahead with a painful economic restructuring despite slowing growth. The industry ministry issued orders late Thursday to more than 1,400 companies to cut excess capacity that has led to financial trouble for manufacturers. The affected industries include steel, cement, copper, and glass. It requires some companies to close outright.
July 27, 2013
By Carter Eskew Republicans are greeting President Obama's summer push on the economy with derision. To House Speaker John Boehner and others, the president seems like an aging rock star whose recycled hits became stale years ago. Yet he still tours, playing to smaller and smaller arenas. While the president is unlikely to be celebrated for his economic record, his presidency marks the end of Republican orthodoxy on economic matters dating to the late 1970s. The Republican frame for 40 years has been that Democrats are the party of tax, spend, and regulation, while Republicans are the party of tax cuts, austerity, and deregulation.
July 26, 2013 |
GALESBURG, Ill. - Seeking to build momentum for looming fiscal fights, President Obama yesterday cast himself as the champion for middle-class Americans struggling to make ends meet. He chided Washington for having "taken its eye off the ball" and declared that the economy would be the "highest priority" of his second term. Obama, in an hourlong address that was at times deeply partisan, also accused Republican lawmakers of succumbing to "an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals.
July 23, 2013 |
TOKYO - Japanese voters dealt a runaway election victory Sunday to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, exit polls indicated, in a strong sign of approval for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitious plan to revive the world's third-largest economy. Sunday's vote, for seats in the upper house of parliament, gives Abe's ruling bloc control of both chambers - and it provides Abe with a mandate unmatched by any Japanese leader in nearly a decade. How Abe uses that political power will help determine the long-term health of Japan's economy and its relations with Asian neighbors.
July 20, 2013
Cargoes were up 13.6 percent in the first six months of 2013 in the Port of Philadelphia, the fourth consecutive year of double-digit cargo growth and an indicator the economy is improving, officials said. Tonnage increases were seen in steel shipments, forest products including paper and lumber, sugar, cocoa beans and liquid bulk cargoes, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority said. Liquid bulk cargoes, including the chemical cumene, arrive at Tioga Marine Terminal and are pumped via an elevated pipe bridge to Kinder Morgan Terminals at Delaware and Allegheny Avenues.
July 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy appears to be weaker than many economists had thought after a report Monday showed consumers spent cautiously in June at retail businesses. Americans bought more cars and trucks, furniture, and clothes. But they cut back on almost everywhere else. They spent less at restaurants and bars, reduced purchases at home improvement stores, and bought fewer computers and electronics. Overall retail spending rose 0.4 percent in June from May, the Commerce Department said.
July 17, 2013 |
TRENTON - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono has unveiled her economic plan for the state, and it contrasts sharply with Gov. Christie's policies. Buono's plan, unveiled early Monday, focuses on shoring up the middle class. It provides tax breaks to small businesses, pledges to make higher education more affordable, and restores safety net cuts made by Christie during his first term. The former chairwoman of the state Senate budget committee says her plan "reflects an understanding that economic growth begins with the middle class.