07-18-2018  2:24 am      •     
The Skanner Report
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Wildfires force evacuations in Spokane, Columbia River Gorge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small but fast-moving wildfire in Spokane prompted evacuation notices for more than 700 homes, authorities said Tuesday.The so-called Upriver Beacon Fire, which was less than 1 square mile (2.6 sq. kilometer), broke out near a residential area.Several homes caught...

Prominent sovereign citizen sentenced for federal bank fraud

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A prominent sovereign citizen has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for conspiring to launder money.The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf was sentenced Tuesday after delivering a 45-minute speech denying the federal judge's...

Wildfires force evacuations in Spokane, Columbia River Gorge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small but fast-moving wildfire in Spokane prompted evacuation notices for more than 700 homes, authorities said Tuesday.The so-called Upriver Beacon Fire, which was less than 1 square mile (2.6 sq. kilometer), broke out near a residential area.Several homes caught...

Authorities form task force to investigate wildfires

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities in western Washington state are forming a task force to investigate a series of recent wildfires.KCPQ-TV reports the Mason County Sheriff's Office is working with state and local agencies after more than 15 fires were reported in the county over a short period of...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Texas executes man for 2004 slaying of store owner

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas prisoner was executed Tuesday evening for the fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner after courts turned down appeals that the state parole board improperly rejected the inmate's clemency request because he's black.Christopher Young, 34,...

The Latest: Texas executes man for 2004 store owner slaying

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas execution (all times local):6:45 p.m.A 34-year-old Texas prisoner has been executed for the fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner during an attempted robbery nearly 14 years ago.Christopher Young received a lethal injection...

Is Trump's retraction his final word on Russia? Unlikely

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington political playbook called for President Donald Trump to make clear — and fast — that the U.S. wasn't in the pocket of Russia President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, Trump relented, saying he misspoke on Russian election meddling.But apologies and...

ENTERTAINMENT

World Cup finale reaches 16 million viewers in U.S.

NEW YORK (AP) — The World Cup soccer final where France defeated Croatia was seen by just over 16 million people in the United States on Sunday.While that made the Sunday morning telecast on Fox and Telemundo the most-watched program of the week, it represented a significant drop in...

'McQueen' examines career of a brilliant, troubled designer

NEW YORK (AP) — The London fashion world didn't know quite what hit it when Alexander McQueen's disheveled models staggered down the runway at his 1995 "Highland Rape" show, their Scottish-inspired clothing ripped to expose breasts and nether regions.It was exactly the reaction that McQueen,...

Destiny's Child singer Williams seeks mental health help

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams says she's seeking help for the depression she has struggled with for years.Williams said in an Instagram post Tuesday that she has "sought help from a great team of health care professionals."She gave no specifics on her treatment,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record 10 home runs . A slew of strikeouts.The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored...

A Comic-Con without Marvel, HBO gives others a chance to pop

Over 130,000 pop culture devotees are descending on San Diego's Gaslamp District Wednesday for the annual four-day...

Intense government bombing of south Syria opposition holdout

BEIRUT (AP) — Talks to cede the largest opposition holdout in southwestern Syria to the government have...

Rescue group: Libya left migrants to die in Mediterranean

MADRID (AP) — A migrant aid group has accused Libya's coast guard of abandoning three people in the...

Obama delivers veiled rebuke to Trump in Mandela address

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — In his highest profile speech since leaving office, former U.S. President Barack Obama...

Trump backs off siding with Russia over US intelligence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President...

Martin Crutsinger AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy grew late last year at a pace that in normal times would suggest it's healthy.

But the 2.8 percent annualized growth rate in the October-December quarter - the fastest pace since the spring of 2010 - isn't being cheered by most economists or investors. That's because growth would need to be much stronger to sharply reduce unemployment. And signs in the data point to slower growth ahead.

For all of last year, the economy grew just 1.7 percent. That was barely more than half the growth in 2010. The outlook for all 2012 is slightly better. The Federal Reserve estimates growth of roughly 2.5 percent for the year.

Though the economy has picked up and is far stronger than during the Great Recession, unemployment is still a high 8.5 percent. Many people remain reluctant to spend more or buy homes. Many employers are still hesitant to hire.

For the final three months of 2011, Americans spent more on vehicles, and companies restocked their shelves at a robust pace. But overall growth last quarter - and for all of last year - was held back by the sharpest cuts in annual government spending in four decades, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Several factors are expected to exert more of an economic drag this year: Cuts in military and other federal spending. A slower pace of company restocking. Weak or flat pay increases. Sluggish growth in consumer spending.

Stocks opened lower after the government reported the growth figures at 8:30 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 53 points in late-morning trading. Broader indexes were mixed.

"Overall, the pickup in growth doesn't look half as good when you realize that most of it was due to inventory accumulation," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, who expects growth to slow to below 2 percent in the first three months of this year.

In the final three months of last year, consumer spending grew at a 2 percent annual rate. That's up modestly from the third quarter. Consumer spending is important because it makes up 70 percent of economic activity.

Much of the growth was powered by a 14.8 percent surge in sales of autos and other long-lasting manufactured goods.

Incomes, which have been weak all year because of high unemployment, grew at a modest 0.8 percent annual rate. That followed two straight quarters of declining incomes. But unless pay increases pick up, consumers who have dipped into savings in recent months, may pull back.

Business restocking, which can vary widely from quarter to quarter, was the greatest contributor to growth in the October-December period. It added nearly 2 percentage points to the gross domestic product, or GDP.

Government spending at all levels fell at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.1 percent for the year - the biggest decline since 1971. Sweeping federal defense cuts at the beginning and end of 2011 were a major factor.

The economy is measured by GDP, which covers everything from haircuts to hotel bookings to jet fighter planes. Friday's estimate was the first of three for the fourth quarter.

Other data show that in some ways, the economy ended 2011 on a strong note. Companies invested more in equipment and machinery in December. The unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent last month - the lowest level in nearly three years - after the sixth straight month of solid hiring.

People are buying more cars, and consumer confidence is rising. Even the depressed housing market has shown enough improvement to make some economists predict a turnaround has begun.

Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, is among the more optimistic analysts. He said he thought business investment in capital goods would be stronger and consumer spending higher this year.

Richard DeKaiser, a senior economist at Parthenon Group, expects just 2 percent annual growth in the January-March quarter. But DeKaiser says that should be the weakest quarter. He expects the economy to gain strength in each quarter and grow 2.6 percent for the entire year.

Still, many economists worry that a recession in Europe could dampen demand for U.S. manufactured goods, which would slow growth. And without more jobs and better pay, consumer spending is likely to stagnate.

The Fed signaled this week that a full recovery could take at least three more years. In response, it said it would probably not increase its benchmark interest rate until late 2014 at the earliest - a year and a half later than it had previously said.

The central bank also slightly reduced its outlook for growth this year, from as much as 2.9 percent forecast in November down to 2.7 percent. The Fed sees unemployment falling as low as 8.2 percent this year.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Carpentry Professionals
Montavilla Jazzfest 2018
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

The Skanner Foundation Scholarships