Failure by US lawmakers to agree soon on a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit could deliver a severe shock to a still fragile recovery and global markets, the International Monetary Fund warned.
United States President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan and referred to a one trillion US dollars price tag for US wars. The figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the US Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve will remain the biggest buyer of Treasuries, even after the second round of quantitative easing ends this week, as the central bank uses its 2.86 trillion US dollars balance sheet to keep interest rates low.
Consumer spending in the United States was unchanged in May for the first time in almost a year, likely reflecting a plunge in auto sales, according to a US government report, that also showed a build-up in underlying inflation pressures.
New York lawmakers narrowly voted to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the gay rights movement was born. New York thus becomes the sixth state in the US where gay couples can wed and the biggest by far.
The United States economy grew at a 1.9% pace in the first quarter marking the start of what Federal Reserve policy makers anticipate is a temporary slowdown in growth.
Oil rose in New York, recovering from a plunge sparked by an International Energy Agency announcement that its members will release crude from strategic reserves.
The Federal Reserve has cut its growth forecast for the US economy in the face of the impact of higher energy prices. It now estimates that the US economy will expand between 2.7% and 2.9% this year, down from its April forecast of 3.1% to 3.3%.
The US current account deficit rose 6.3% to $119.3bn in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department has said. Strong exports of cars, computers and machinery were offset by imports, particularly of more expensive oil.
The US embassy in Buenos Aires announced this week that the Argentine government has finally returned the cargo seized from an American military plane that landed at the Ezeiza airport amidst espionage accusations last February.