In a move that drew outrage from labor unions and progressives, President Donald Trump this week quietly took steps to slash a scheduled pay raise for millions of federal workers from 2.5% to 1% due to supposed concerns about "keeping the nation on a fiscally sustainable course."
Struggling dairy farmers who flocked to an expo in Wisconsin last month hoped to hear some encouragement from one of their own — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a Georgia agri-businessman whose dad had run a small farm.But some came away angry after Perdue — speaking in a state that lost nearly two dairy farms a day last year — remarked that small farms would not likely survive as the “big get bigger and small go out.”
The U.S. government’s budget deficit ballooned to nearly $1 trillion in 2019, the Treasury Department announced Friday, as the United States’ fiscal imbalance widened for a fourth consecutive year despite a sustained run of economic growth. The deficit grew $205 billion, or 26 percent, in the past year. The country’s worsening fiscal picture runs in sharp contrast to President Trump’s campaign promise to eliminate the federal debt within eight years.
U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies. September marked the worst month for U.S. manufacturing in more than a decade, since June 2009.
President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell an “enemy” of the United States that is as bad as China, a tweet that triggered a stock market slide and came minutes after Powell vowed to keep the economy growing.
President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump’s comments pulled back the curtain on a freewheeling policy process within the White House. Senior administration officials are both trying to assess the real weaknesses in the economy while also determining whether they should take any steps to intervene before the 2020 elections.
President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports from China, effectively taxing every product that Americans buy from China. The president acted one day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer wrapped up two days of talks in Shanghai aimed at a comprehensive trade deal.
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard the record-long economic expansion against mounting global risks. The widely expected quarter-point move, the Fed’s first since it cut rates to near zero in 2008, is meant to protect the economy against the potentially harmful effects of a growth slowdown in China and Europe and uncertainty from President Trump’s trade war.
The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that the decade-long expansion is on the verge of stalling out.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The latest report was a disappointing showing that will stoke fears the economy is softening as the Trump administration’s trade war with China and potentially Mexico escalates. The Federal Reserve has signaled that it would consider a rate cut in the event of economic weakness, and May’s data is likely to be an important factor in their decisions.
Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite repeated White House promises it would help employees, an investigation shows. The 2017 Tax and Jobs Act – the Trump administration’s one major piece of enacted legislation – did deliver the biggest corporate tax cut in US history, but ultimately workers benefited almost not at all.
Fears are rising about the state of the world’s biggest economies, with China posting its worst annual growth in decades and the United States injecting more uncertainty with tariffs and a lengthy government shutdown. China reported Monday that its economy expanded at 6.6 percent last year — a figure that would be good for many countries but represents the slowest growth for China in 28 years.
America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday. Strikingly, the sharp uptick in emissions occurred even as a near-record number of coal plants around the United States retired last year, illustrating how difficult it could be for the country to make further progress on climate change in the years to come, particularly as the Trump administration pushes to roll back federal regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
President Trump has asked internal and external advisers about whether he can fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell, two people familiar with the exchanges said, in a sign of his mounting frustration with the central bank chief. News of Trump’s discussions about Powell prompted rebukes from lawmakers and alarm among economists and Wall Street executives Saturday
For stock investors in the United States, the political and economic outlooks have suddenly become ominous. More volatility could be in store this week. “The fact is that politics is driving the economy to an extent that is very atypical,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG, an institutional brokerage firm. “We would say probably to the greatest extent that we’ve seen in our investing lifetime.”
The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law late last year has already given the American economy a jolt, at least temporarily. It has fattened the paychecks of most American workers, padded the profits of large corporations and sped economic growth.
There's mounting anecdotal evidence that President Donald Trump's trade war is causing trouble for the US economy and businesses. But Friday's report on third-quarter gross domestic product may be the best hard evidence yet that the tariffs are causing major disruptions in the economy.
President Donald Trump’s trade war is already prompting farmers and agricultural forecasters to plan for a dismal 2019 growing season before the fall harvest is complete. Trade disputes — namely the escalating feud with China — have weighed on commodity prices and the president has threatened to ratchet up tariffs rather than ease tensions come Jan. 1. To boot, ordinary business costs like fertilizer and fuel appear to be on the rise, further squeezing bottom lines.
Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a "redesign" of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company announced.
When President Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports in June, Richard Lattanzi thought of dozens of his fellow steelworkers who have for years put off badly needed repairs of their cars and homes. “There was a lot of excitement here; there were a lot of us saying, ‘It’s about time someone is looking out for us,’ ” said Lattanzi, the mayor of this town of 7,000 and a safety inspector at the U.S. Steel plant in nearby West Mifflin. “A lot of people around here were saying, ‘We’re going to be okay.’ ”
In the past few days, new economic reports have come out that don’t paint a very rosy picture for a number of economic items. While GDP hit 4.1% for the June quarter, but only 2.9% year over year, and the unemployment rate is hovering at all-time lows, inflation continues to increase, real wages are stagnant and the federal budget deficit is ballooning
Rising prices have erased U.S. workers’ meager wage gains, the latest sign strong economic growth has not translated into greater prosperity for the middle class and working class. Cost of living was up 2.9 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, the Labor Department reported Friday, an inflation rate that outstripped a 2.7 percent increase in wages over the same period.
Economic growth surged in the second quarter — but don’t expect the boom to last. The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year. Still, recent data does suggest that the pace of growth has picked up this year.
Potential perils are in plain sight: An intense and unpredictable tariff battle is alarming businesses across the country. The annual federal deficit is heading toward $1 trillion. Credit card debt is soaring. And the synchronous wave that lifted every world economy at the year’s start has dissipated. So what? Such risks have done little to puncture the exuberant optimism that is encouraging American businesses to ramp up hiring and consider new investment.
President Trump accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies and continued to criticize the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, saying those moves are putting the United States at a disadvantage. His comments once again break with longstanding White House norms, in which American presidents tend to talk sparingly about the United States dollar and, when they do, generally reiterate that a strong dollar is in the national interest.
President Trump is inciting a trade war, undermining NATO and painting Europe as a foe. It’s no wonder, then, that the European Union is looking elsewhere for friends. On Tuesday in Tokyo, it signed its largest trade deal ever, a pact with Japan that will slash customs duties on products like European wine and cheese, while gradually reducing tariffs on cars. The agreement will cover a quarter of the global economy — by some measures the largest free-trade area in the world — and is the latest in a string of efforts either concluded or in the works with countries like Australia, Vietnam and even China.
Candidate Trump promised to create millions of new jobs, vowing to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created. At Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn nearly wrecked the economy. As Trump's top economic adviser, he's dismantling the rules put in place after the financial crisis. ”
As the White House staff tries to put together a budget for President Donald Trump, they face a fundamental problem. Trump has promised to cut taxes, increase spending on the military and infrastructure, and avoid cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The only way to do that without producing an exploding budget deficit is to assume a big increase in economic growth. And Nick Timiraos at the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump is planning to do just that — by making things up.