Economy

10:01pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Around the Nation

As Elkhart's Electric Dreams Fizzle, RVs Come Back

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 10:13 am

Clinton Lehman, who had been unemployed for nine months before being called back to work, assembles a recreation vehicle at the Jayco factory in Elkhart, Ind., in 2011.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

Elkhart, Ind., is known as the RV capital of the world. The city suffered badly when the recession hit and demand for recreational vehicles all but screeched to a halt. That's when local and state leaders started looking for ways to bolster the area's manufacturing industry.

The unemployment rate in the city along the Michigan border eventually soared to 20 percent — the highest in the nation at the time.

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4:09pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Economy

GM Puts Volt Into 'Neutral' To Let Sales Catch Up

Workers assemble a Chevrolet Volt at GM's Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant in October. The auto maker says it will idle the plant for five weeks, to allow demand to catch up with inventory.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors will suspend production of its Chevrolet Volt electric car for five weeks amid disappointing sales.

A GM spokesman said Friday that the company will shut down production of the Volt from March 19 until April 23, idling 1,300 workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

"We're taking a temporary shutdown," said GM spokesman Chris Lee. "We're doing it to maintain our proper inventory levels as we align production with demand."

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6:38am

Thu March 1, 2012

6:55am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Revised Numbers Show U.S. Economy Quickened In The Fourth Quarter

During the last three months of the year, the U.S. economy picked up its pace of growth. The Commerce Department revised its previous estimate today and said the gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent, which exceeded the previous estimate of 2.8 percent and was better than the third quarter's 1.8 percent pace.

The AP reports:

"The growth estimate was revised up because consumers spent more than first thought, and businesses cut spending by much less.

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1:25am

Wed February 29, 2012
Economy

Record Low Interest Rates Raise Inflation Concerns

The Federal Reserve plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero until 2014, and some critics are concerned about the risk of inflation and the message it sends about the economy.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The goal of the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy is to juice the economic recovery. The low rates should make it easier for people to borrow money, which they'll hopefully spend; the increased demand for goods and services is then supposed to translate into more hiring.

That's what the Fed is banking on. It hopes low interest rates will help with its mandate of achieving maximum employment, but it also has another mandate: to keep prices stable.

"In many cases, those two conflict," says economist Joe Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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