Economic news -Kerry needs to hammer this
New jobless claims were 362,000 the highest since April. Bloomberg
Record Labor Day gas prices loom A shortage of domestic refineries and ever-growing demand in the United States is likely to turn this summer's sticker-shock at the pumps into a routine of higher fuel costs for years to come, analysts said Tuesday
From Brad DeLong
In moves that could slow the Midwest manufacturing economy -- particularly in election-year battleground states such as Michigan and Ohio -- the two titans of the U.S. auto industry, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., said they will cut fourth-quarter vehicle production. The announcement followed a disappointing August for auto makers, which saw American consumers steer clear of large, fuel-chugging sport-utility vehicles as oil prices surged. ....... a 13% decline in overall sales....
But the decision to ratchet back production is a significant step, because the auto makers play a huge role in the country's manufacturing economy. GM said it will cut production at its North American factories by about 7% during the fourth quarter in response to slowing sales. Ford said it will cut North American production by nearly 8%.
Wal-Mart posts weak sales
Wal-Mart said Thursday that August sales at stores open at least a year came in at the low end of its forecast, citing Hurricane Charley and a late Labor Day that hurt back-to-school business.
U.S. 2nd-Qtr Productivity Rises at 2.5% Rate; Costs Up 1.8%
This may actually be good news. This may mean there is nothing more to squeeze out of the workers they have, so companies may be forced to hire more people. The increase in costs is as expected and suggests that inflation is not a problem.
Brad DeLong shows that Bush faced with bad economic news, just makes stuff up. On the campaign trail yesterday Bush said
Because we acted, our economy has been growing at rates as fast as any in nearly 20 years...