Last updateMon, 28 Sep 2020 2pm

Leading Economic Indicators Dip More Than Expected

A private sector group's index of leading economic indicators fell more than expected in March, but the forecast called for the recession's intensity to ease this summer.

The Conference Board said Monday that its monthly forecast of economic activity fell 0.3 percent in March and has not risen in nine months. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 0.2 percent decline.

Source: Associated Press

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Another Key Dem Senator Won’t Say Whether He’ll Cast Key Vote For EFCA

This one is very, very bad news for the Employee Free Choice Act: Senator Jim Webb, who was thought by labor to be supportive of the measure, now won’t say whether he’ll cast a key vote for it.

Worse, his office says he views this as a bad time to be introducing the legislation — a potentially serious blow, because Webb is generally seen as strong on labor issues.

Source: The Plum Line

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New Movement on Colombia Trade Pact Article

President Barack Obama discussed a pending free-trade agreement with his Colombian counterpart Saturday and dispatched his trade representative to discuss U.S. concerns over Colombia's treatment of labor leaders.

At the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Mr. Obama asked to be seated next to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and the pair discussed the deal, U.S. officials said.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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China Economy to Rebound as Stimulus Spurs Investment

China’s economy, the world’s third largest, may rebound this quarter as Premier Wen Jiabao’s 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package cushions the effects of the global recession.

Urban fixed-asset investment surged by almost a third in March and industrial-output growth accelerated, reports accompanying China’s gross domestic product figures showed yesterday.

Source: Bloomberg

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Manufacturing, Housing Sectors Remain Weak

U.S. manufacturing activity is expected to keep contracting for at least another three to six months and most manufacturers say federal stimulus spending will be only "slightly" effective in boosting the economy, according to a survey of major producers.

In another report, the home-building sector showed tentative signs of bottoming out in March, the latest indication that a key sector of the economy may be stabilizing after years of declines.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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