US consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in 16 years while US home prices fell in April at the fastest rate in years, two economic reports have said.
In a move which did not surprise, the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged at 2%. In its usual release following the two day meeting the Open Market Committee said that recent information indicates that overall economic activity continues to expand, partly reflecting some firming in household spending.
At a time of record-high gasoline prices and a corresponding surge in transit ridership, US citizens are driving less for the sixth month in a row, highlighting the need to find a more sustainable and effective way to fund highway construction and maintenance, said United States Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters.
A judge in New York has agreed to slash 10 million off the 12 million US dollars inheritance given by real estate billionaire Leona Helmsley to her pet dog, Trouble.
Producer prices in United States jumped by more than expected in May pushed higher by the soaring fuel and food prices, according to the latest release from the US Labor Department.
United States remains the dominant leader in science and technology worldwide despite perceptions that the country is losing its competitive edge, according to a RAND Corporation.
Inflation in the United States rose at its fastest pace for six months in May because of sharply higher energy costs. Consumer prices rose 0.6% last month, government figures showed, the steepest monthly increase since last November.
Corn prices hit new highs this week after the US Department of Agriculture forecast that output would fall because of poor weather. Corn reached a record price of above 7 US dollars a bushel for July delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade after the government cut its forecasts for the 2008 yield by 3%.
Despite healthy exports the rising cost of importing foreign oil caused the US trade deficit to widen 7.8% in April to 60.9 billion US dollars, the largest for 13 months.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sought to tap into US citizens' anxiety over high gasoline prices yesterday by pledging to seek a windfall profits tax on US oil companies if elected.