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US price increases hit consumers

WASHINGTON – US energy and grocery prices are on the rise, hitting already struggling consumers and posing a tricky dilemma for US policy makers. Confirming what most US shoppers already suspected, the Labor Department on Thursday reported prices for everything from vegetables to unleaded fuel rose again in January. The…

New jobless claims tumble to 2-year low

WASHINGTON – The number of new claims for US unemployment insurance tumbled last week to a two-year low, according to official data Thursday, offering hope for the troubled labor market. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 383,000 in the week ending February 5, down…

Fed’s Bernanke tackles congressional critics

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fended off criticism that he is ignoring the risk of rising prices Wednesday, as he faced a skeptical Republican-controlled panel in Congress. “We remain unwaveringly committed to price stability,” Bernanke told the House of Representatives budget committee, rejecting claims that rising prices for…

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defends $600 billion shadow stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Fed’s new $600 billion program to aid the economy on Saturday, rejecting concerns that it will spur runaway inflation. Critics, including some Fed officials, fear that all the money being injected into the economy could ignite inflation or speculative bubbles in the prices…

Likely gridlock in Congress could threaten economy

Post-election gridlock in Congress could pose threat to a fragile economy if little gets done Political gridlock is supposed to be good for business. If bickering lawmakers can’t agree on anything, the thinking goes, they can’t pass laws and regulations that make the economy worse. So will the midterm elections,…

3 win economics Nobel for job market analysis

2 Americans, British-Cypriot win Nobel economics prize for job market analysis Two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies. Federal Reserve board nominee Peter Diamond…

Pelosi pushes foreclosure irregularities probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – California Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for federal investigations into whether financial institutions broke any laws in their handling of foreclosures in the midst of the housing crisis. Reports from thousands of homeowners in their congressional districts show an “apparent pattern” of practices that…

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