economy

Unemployment
9:18 am
Fri November 22, 2013

More Job Losses for Connecticut

Hiring in the state stalled in September and October.
Credit Creative Commons

Connecticut lost more than four thousand jobs in September, ahead of the government shutdown, but job creation stayed flat in October.

The state Department of Labor played catch up with this latest announcement: September's figures were delayed by the federal shutdown, but the picture that emerges isn't pretty. 

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Press One For America
1:15 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Call Center Legislation Could Affect Connecticut Businesses

Call Center, State Farm

When we think of jobs in Connecticut, the call center industry isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But according to the Communication Workers of America, there are more than 49,000 call center jobs in the state: people answering phones for companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon Wireless, and Cablevision.

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The Tax Man
8:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Amnesty Program Nets $180 Million in Back Taxes

Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan in WNPR's studios on December 5, 2011.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Department of Revenue Services said it collected almost $180 million in back taxes through a two-month-long amnesty program. That's far in excess of the $35 million it set as a goal at the beginning of the amnesty.

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Energy
12:12 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Regulators Hear Call for Simpler Gas Rates

Credit James Riden / Creative Commons

Connecticut's gas utilities are asking regulators to lower the amount they'd have to charge businesses that sign up for new gas service. The request comes as regulators debate the final shape of the state's new comprehensive energy plan.

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China
9:11 am
Fri November 15, 2013

China Unveils Major Economic Changes

An investor is seen at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 16.
Ding Ting Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:32 am

We told you this morning about changes announced in China regarding the country's one-child policy, as well as an announcement that it was ending its system of labor camps. But those aren't the only policy shifts by the Communist Party.

China also said Friday that it would loosen restrictions on foreign investment in e-commerce and other businesses, and allow private competition in state-dominated sectors.

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China
8:29 am
Fri November 15, 2013

China Eases One-Child Policy, Ends Labor Camp System

Children participate in a drawing contest on May 13 celebrating international children's day in Qingdao, China.
Wu Hong EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:47 am

China announced Friday that it is loosening its decades-old one-child policy, and abolishing its system of "re-education through labor" camps.

In order to have a second child, one parent would have to be an only child under the new rules. Previously, both parents had to be only children in order to have a second child.

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Trans Pacific Partnership
7:09 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Delegation Splits Over Free Trade Protest

Credit Diane Orson / Chion Wolf / WNPR

The effort to oppose a new free trade agreement seems to have caused a rare split in the ranks of Connecticut's congressional delegation. Connecticut's five U.S. House members are all Democrats, and usually stand together on a wide range of issues. But a huge new free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S. and ten other Pacific nations is causing some friction between colleagues.

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Economy
1:18 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Economic Forecaster Sees Flat Jobs Growth This Year

Connecticut looks likely to maintain its level of job growth this year, according to the New England Economic Partnership, but the forecasting group says the state’s recovery will continue to lag behind the national average.

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Insurance
7:24 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Insurance Conference Defends State Commissioner System

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Insurance professionals heard on Tuesday an impassioned plea from the governor to keep regulation at the state level. Hundreds from the industry gathered at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford for an annual market forecast. 

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Energy
8:45 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Heating Oil Dealers Condemn Regulators' Okay for Gas Plan

DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty and Governor Dannel Malloy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Heating oil dealers said a decision by regulators to allow a massive expansion of natural gas usage in Connecticut will cost thousands of jobs. The state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority this week issued a draft decision giving the go-ahead to Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposal. 

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Redevelopment
7:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Hartford Pays for More Apartments at Colt

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced a plan to borrow $5 million and build more apartments at the former Colt factory.
Credit David Panagore

More apartments are in the works for the city of Hartford, as the city has agreed to borrow $5 million to build 79 more units at the historic Colt Gateway complex.

The Colt is the structure with the blue onion dome just off I-91 in Hartford. And it was once home to the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which made “the guns that won the West.” 

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

After the Shutdown: Democracy and Economic Policy

Michael Lynch
Chion Wolf

UConn Philosophy professor Michael Lynch wrote in a recent New York Times opinion piece, that we’re living in a “dangerous political moment.” Not just because of the shutdown of the federal government and the near default on the nation’s debts, but he writes: “The real damage is caused by the idea that that our current democratic form of government should be shuttered.” That a large segment of the population might think government really is a bad idea. 

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Defense
7:15 am
Wed October 23, 2013

United Technologies Beats Street, But Sees Defense Downside

Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

United Technologies reported a boost in third quarter earnings of 13 percent, at $1.55 per share, beating analysts' expectations. The Hartford-based conglomerate trimmed its full-year revenue estimates, however, because of the government shutdown and cuts in military spending.

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Real Estate
11:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip After Hitting 4-Year High

A sold sign in Chicago earlier this year.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 1.9 percent fewer existing homes sold in September than in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

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Earnings
1:29 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

General Electric Reports Fallen Profits, But Record Backlog

The afterburner of a General Eletric J79 turbojet engine. The company reports a large order backlog helping to offset a slump in profits in the third quarter.
Credit Threecharlie / Wikimedia Commons

General Electric saw a fall in third quarter profits, but investors sent shares up anyway, because of a record backlog of orders for the company.

Fairfield-based GE is considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy because of its wide reach across many industries. In the third quarter, profits fell by 18 percent to just over $3 billion, brought down by a fall in revenues at GE Capital, the conglomerate’s finance arm. The numbers were also hit by the expense of foreign currency transactions.

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Earnings
4:50 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Stanley Black & Decker Sees Shutdown Impact

Credit TT Zop / Wikimedia Commons

Stanley Black & Decker has lowered its profits forecast for the full year, saying that the real economic impact from the government shutdown is one factor in its prediction.

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Congress
7:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:32 am

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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National Debt
8:21 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Economy
2:35 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

State Regulation Under Review

Governor Dannel Malloy during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is preparing to undertake a searching review of state regulations. Governor Dannel Malloy sees it as a way to kickstart economic growth.

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Government Shutdown
8:44 am
Wed October 16, 2013

When Will The Government Run Out Of Money?

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:19 pm

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

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Stock Market
9:45 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Economics Nobel: Nobody Knows What Stocks Are Going To Do Today

The Nobel Foundation

If you want to honor today's Nobel laureates in economics, turn off CNBC and ignore everyone who says they know what the stock market is going to do today, tomorrow, or next week.

The award went to three economists — Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller — for their work studying asset prices.

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Another Nobel Comes to New Haven
7:17 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Yale's Shiller Shares Nobel Economics Prize

Robert Shiller
Credit M. Hager. © World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch via Wikimedia Commons

Americans Robert Shiller, Eugene Fama, and Lars Peter Hansen have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored the three "for their empirical analysis of asset prices." The Nobel committees have now announced all six of the annual $1.2 million awards for 2013.

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National Debt
4:13 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:49 pm

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged lawmakers on Thursday to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of causing lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

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Housing
3:44 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Boost in Connecticut Home Sales During August

A house in Clinton.
Credit Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

August saw a big boost in home sales in Connecticut, with 2,893 homes sold that month. It's the highest number of single family homes sold for that month in six years, up ten percent from the same month in 2012.

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Income Inequality
2:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

If You Think Wealth Disparity Is Bad Here, Look At Russia

Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters /Landov
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White House
5:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Obama Nominates Janet Yellen To Head Federal Reserve

President Obama claps during a press conference to nominate Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve in the State Dining Room at the White House on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:49 pm

Saying "American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen," President Obama officially nominated her to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

Yellen "is the kind of person who makes everybody around her better," Obama said, adding that Yellen is "extremely well qualified" and "renowned for her good judgement."

Obama made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday, flanked by Yellen and outgoing Fed chief Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to head the American central bank.

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Government Shutdown
3:54 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

How The Shutdown Is Hurting The Housing Market

If interest rates go up due to the fear or reality of a debt default that would have major consequences for real estate sales.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:57 am

As with so many other types of economic activity, the government shutdown is causing more fear than actual harm in the housing market thus far.

But that doesn't mean things won't start going wrong in the very near future.

Various federal agencies play greater or lesser roles in real estate transactions. With most of them sidelined, simple matters such as closing on mortgages are becoming more complicated.

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Economy
5:44 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Treasury Officials Mull Credit Default Solutions

The Treasury Department says it will begin running out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, if the partial government shutdown isn't over by then. That prospect worries the financial markets. Treasury debt plays a fundamental role in the global economy, and economists agree that a debt default would have dire consequences. But some Republicans insist that a default doesn't have to happen.

Patents
9:53 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Three Connecticut Companies are Listed World's Most Innovative

United Technologies Corporation headquarters in Hartford. UTC is one of the companies named most innovative.
Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

Three Connecticut companies made the list of the world's most innovative companies. The ranking comes from Thomson Reuters, which issues an annual list of the top 100 global innovators.

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U.S. Debt
5:48 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities

House Republicans have proposed directing the Treasury Department to pay bondholders first if there is not enough money available to pay all the nation's debts.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:02 pm

The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.

"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.

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