December 26, 2012 |
THE ACHINGLY SLOW global economic recovery was chosen as the top business story of the year by business editors at the Associated Press : * 1. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY : Worldwide growth was slack again in 2012. The global economy grew just 3.3 percent, down from 3.8 percent in 2011 and 5.1 percent in 2010, the International Monetary Fund estimates. The U.S. economy, the world's largest, failed to gain traction. Five years after a recession seized the economy and more than three years after it ended, growth in the United States was only about 2 percent.
December 20, 2012 |
SEOUL, South Korea - Park Geun Hye was elected president of South Korea on Wednesday, becoming the first woman to lead Asia's fourth-biggest economy more than 30 years after her father's reign as dictator ended with his assassination. Park, 60, of the ruling New Frontier Party, defeated main opposition candidate Moon Jae In, 51.6 percent to 48 percent, the National Election Commission said on its website. The never-married daughter of the nation's longest-serving dictator will lead a country with one of the world's most entrenched gender gaps.
December 18, 2012 |
TRENTON - Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), the first prominent Democrat to enter New Jersey's 2013 governor's race, offers obvious contrasts to the Republican governor she wants to challenge in November. "New Jersey is hurting," Buono said Friday, three days after she announced in an e-mail she would seek to challenge Gov. Christie, whose popularity and job approval numbers hit record highs after Hurricane Sandy hit the state in late October. Buono, 59, who has earned credibility with progressives for supporting gay marriage and won points with public-sector unions by arguing that changes to health-care plans should be collectively bargained rather than legislated, seems eager to point out differences with Christie and uninterested in parsing phrases.
December 8, 2012 |
The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures. The Labor Department's report on Friday offered a mixed picture for the economy. Hiring remained steady during the storm and in the face of looming tax increases. But the government said employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than initially estimated. And the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November from 7.9 percent in October mostly because more people stopped looking for work and weren't counted as unemployed.
November 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - American consumers are growing more confident about the job market, companies are ordering more equipment, and home prices are rising in most major cities. The latest batch of government data suggests that the economy is improving just as the holiday shopping season begins. The only threat is a package of huge spending cuts and tax increases, known as the fiscal cliff, that will kick in unless Congress strikes a budget deal by year's end. Rising home values, more hiring, and lower gas prices pushed consumer confidence in November to the highest level in nearly five years.
November 26, 2012 |
Robert W. Patterson served as a welfare adviser in the Corbett administration Instead of learning from the election results, Democrats and Republicans are retreating to familiar corners on the so-called fiscal cliff. President Obama insists on threatening to increase taxes on big business and affluent households earning more than $250,000 a year. Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) are claiming that they received a mandate not to increase tax rates.
November 23, 2012
THE COST OF a college education has become a runaway train. And while the reasons - and culprits - are complicated, it sometimes seems like Gov. Corbett is angling to become the conductor. That's because one important step to driving down costs would be to bolster the schools that are more affordable. In Pennsylvania, that list includes our community colleges, the 14 state-owned universities and the four state-related schools: Temple, Pitt, Penn State and Lincoln. As a report this week from Research for Action noted, half of the 800,000 students enrolled in Pennsylvania colleges today go to these state-supported universities.
November 22, 2012
Since consumer spending drives two-thirds of the U.S. economy, the yearly risk that shoppers will overindulge on Black Friday offers a good news/bad news scenario. Seeing a crush of customers at stores from now until Christmas will be a welcome indication that the nation's economic recovery continues to make progress. In fact, even before many stores announced plans to start their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, there was tangible evidence that consumer confidence is growing.
November 19, 2012 |
PORTLAND, MAINE - In the two weeks since Maine voters approved a law allowing same-sex marriage, Clay Hill Farm has been getting phone calls and emails from gay couples inquiring about open dates and wedding packages at the restaurant and wildlife sanctuary, a popular wedding spot in York. The law won't go into effect for more than six weeks, but already couples from in and out of state have called, said Jennifer Lewis-McShera, who heads the wedding department there. Clay Hill Farm puts on dozens of wedding ceremonies a year, as well as receptions and rehearsal dinners, and provides catering services to wedding parties at other locations.
November 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Congress returns Tuesday to a crowded agenda of unfinished business overshadowed by the urgent need for President Obama and lawmakers to avert the economic double hit of tax increases and automatic spending cuts. One week after the elections - and seven weeks after they last gathered in Washington, Republicans and Democrats face a daunting task in a lame-duck session that Capitol Hill fears could last until the final hours of Dec. 31. But even before serious budget negotiations can begin, lawmakers will tackle leftover legislation on trade with Russia, military budgets and aiding farmers still reeling from the summer's drought.