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Economy

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The U.S. federal budget deficit fell to $63 billion in July, half the amount of a year earlier and down from $864 billion in June, as a delayed July 15 tax payment deadline boosted revenues and coronavirus aid outlays shrank sharply, the U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday.

The July deficit brought the fiscal year-to-date deficit to $2.81 trillion, compared to $867 billion for the comparable period of 2019 and doubling the 2009 full-year record deficit ...


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A top official at the Federal Reserve criticized the decision by many states to reopen businesses this spring before getting the virus fully under control, and said those choices have hindered an economic recovery in the U.S.

Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said states in the South and West that allowed businesses to reopen after shutting down for a brief period did register an initial burst of economic activity. But spikes in infection rates soon followed and economies in those states are now lagging those in the Northeast as consumers have become more cautious and bars and restaurants have been shut down again in some states.


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U.S. consumer prices jumped 0.6% in July as gasoline prices continued to rise.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the increase last month in its consumer price index matched a 0.6% rise in June. The uptick was about twice what economists expected. But inflation remains in check: Consumer prices are up just 1% over the past year.

Gasoline prices rose 5.3% from June to July but are down 20.3% in the past 12 months as the coronaviru...


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Few U.S. companies doing business in China view President Donald Trump’s Phase 1 trade deal as being worth the cost of tariffs incurred over a two-year trade war, a new survey by the U.S.-China Business Council showed on Tuesday.

The trade group said that just 7% of respondents to its annual membership survey said that the benefits from the Phase 1 agreement outweigh the costs of tariffs incurred along the way. Some 36% of respondents said the costs outweigh...


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U.S. producer prices increased by the most in more than 1-1/2 years in July, but the overall trend in producer inflation remained subdued amid signs the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession was faltering.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday its producer price index for final demand increased 0.6% last month, driven by a surge in portfolio management fees and rising costs for gasoline. That was the biggest gain since Oct...


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Whether President Donald Trump has the constitutional authority to extend federal unemployment benefits by executive order remains unclear. Equally up in the air is whether states, which are necessary partners in Trump’s plan to bypass Congress, will sign on.

Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of up to $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the pandemic. Congress had approved payments of $600 a week at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, but those benefits expired Aug. 1 and Congress has been unable to agree on an extension. Many Republicans have expressed concern that a $600 weekly benefit, on top of existing state benefits, gives people an incentive to stay unemployed.


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(Reuters) - After two months of feeling slightly better about their odds in the labor market, Americans grew more pessimistic in July, according to a survey released Monday by the New York Federal Reserve.

The shift reflects the effects of fresh restrictions enacted by state and local governments to combat a resurgence in coronavirus infections. U.S. employment growth slowed considerably in July, reflecting a potential slowdown in the economic rebound. Nonfarm payrolls increased by ...


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State oil giant Saudi Aramco’s profit plunged 73% in the second quarter of the year, as a slump in energy demand and prices due to the coronavirus crisis hit sales at the world’s biggest oil exporter.

But the company stuck with plans to pay $75 billion in dividends this year and CEO Amin Nasser said global oil demand was recovering.

All major oil companies have taken a hit in the second quarter as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus limited travel, which reduced oil consumption and sent prices tumbling to levels not seen in nearly two decades.


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 1.8 million jobs in July, a pullback from the gains of May and June and evidence that the resurgent coronavirus is weakening hiring and the economic rebound.

Many employers have been reluctant or unable to hire, with about two-thirds of the nation having paused or reversed reopening plans early last month. Even counting the hiring of the past three months, the economy has recovered only about 42% of the 22 million jobs it lost to the pande...


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Nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans applied for state unemployment benefits last week, evidence that the coronavirus keeps forcing companies to slash jobs just as a critical $600 weekly federal jobless payment has expired.

The government’s report Thursday did offer a smidgen of hopeful news: The number of jobless claims declined by 249,000 from the previous week, after rising for two straight weeks, and it was the lowest total since ...