Department of Commerce

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Amid Yearlong Price Pressures, an 'Encouraging Sign'

Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge slowed sharply last month

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge slowed sharply last month, an encouraging sign in the Fed's yearlong effort to cool price pressures through steadily higher interest rates. Friday's report from the Commerce Department showed that consumer prices rose 0.3% from January to February, down from a...

Trump Executive Orders on TikTok, WeChat Are Replaced

Under new order, Commerce Dept. will complete 'evidence-based' analysis

(Newser) - The White House has dropped Trump-era executive orders that attempted to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China, officials said Wednesday. A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what...

Treasury, Commerce Hit by Hackers in Monthslong Breach

'Unacceptable risk' to government tied back to hugely popular server software

(Newser) - US government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyberespionage campaign, discovered when a prominent cybersecurity firm learned it had been breached. In a rare emergency directive issued late...

US Treasury Gets Hacked, Sources Say

The National Security Council says it's on the case

(Newser) - Sophisticated hackers have stolen data from the US Treasury and an agency that oversees telecom and Internet policies—but those behind it remain unidentified, insiders tell Reuters . "The United States government is aware of these reports and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible...

TikTok Survives in the US, for Now
TikTok Survives
in the US, for Now

TikTok Survives in the US, for Now

US ban delayed as administration appeals judge's ruling

(Newser) - The TikToks will keep rolling. The Department of Commerce said Thursday it will delay enforcing President Trump's executive order requiring TikTok to suspend US operations as of midnight Thursday. The department's statement says the order is on hold "pending further legal developments," per the Wall Street ...

One of Trump's Cabinet Members Hospitalized

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross hospitalized 'for minor, non-coronavirus related issues,' says rep

(Newser) - Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, 82, was admitted to a hospital in upstate New York after feeling unwell on Friday evening, reports the AP . “Secretary Ross has been admitted into the hospital for minor, non-coronavirus related issues. He is doing well and we anticipate his release soon," a Commerce...

Economic Growth Slowest in 3 Years
Economic Growth
Slowest in 3 Years

Economic Growth Slowest in 3 Years

US economy grew at a rate of 2.1% in the 4th quarter of 2019, 2.3% all year

(Newser) - The US economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate in the final three months of 2019, capping a year when growth slowed significantly due to a weaker global economy and trade war uncertainties, the AP reports. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the fourth-quarter increase in the gross domestic...

GDP Growth Much Better Than Expected

President Trump's 3% bar is exceeded

(Newser) - The US economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, up from 2.2% at the end of 2018, for a far better outcome than expected, per the AP . However, about half the gain reflected two factors not expected to last—...

Report: Commerce Chief May Be World-Class 'Grifter'
Wilbur Ross Allegedly Stole
$120M. And Sweet'N Low

Wilbur Ross Allegedly Stole $120M. And Sweet'N Low

Commerce chief accused by 'Forbes' of being among the biggest American 'grifters'

(Newser) - The buzziest political story of the day comes courtesy of Dan Alexander at Forbes , who's out with some devastating allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Alexander interviewed 21 people who say that Ross, through his private equity firm WL Ross & Co., "siphoned or outright stole a few...

A Big Change Is Proposed to Wildlife Protections

Officials would weigh economic factors in decisions under Endangered Species Act

(Newser) - Those who back the Endangered Species Act won't be happy to read a quote in the New York Times that sums up a story about its fate: "It's probably the best chance that we have had in 25 years to actually make any substantial changes," says...

Dow Breaks 18K for First Time
 Dow Breaks 18K for First Time 

Dow Breaks 18K for First Time

Plus consumer spending, business investment help US economy grow 5% in 3rd Q

(Newser) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average cruised past 18,000 for the first time ever today, the AP reports. The S&P 500 also broke records this morning, rising six points (0.3%) to 2,084. This followed on the heels of news that the US economy grew at a sizzling...

US Economy Shrank 2.9%— Worst Since '09

Number much higher than expected

(Newser) - The US economy shrank at a staggering annual rate of 2.9% in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. The Commerce Department says the first-quarter contraction was even more severe than the 1% annual decline...

US to Cede Its Control Over Internet
US to Cede Its Control
Over Internet

US to Cede Its Control Over Internet

It will no longer have authority over domain names, Web addresses

(Newser) - The end of an Internet era is near: The US plans to give up its control over the group that manages domain names and Web addresses, reports the Washington Post . The long-planned move means that the Commerce Department does not plan to renew its contract with the Internet Corporation for...

FBI: Our Economic Data Is at Risk

Flaw in system could allow hackers to access 'black box'

(Newser) - The FBI has found "a number of operational vulnerabilities" in the system the government uses to protect sensitive economic information, the Wall Street Journal reports. As part of its long-running attempt to figure out what's behind the suspicious trading activity that often precedes major economic news, the bureau...

Obama to Announce Picks for Commerce, Trade Rep

Longtime fundraiser and top economic adviser will be nominated today

(Newser) - President Obama will name a longtime fundraiser to run the Commerce Department and a top economic adviser as the next US Trade Representative, according to a White House official. Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker, a businesswoman, philanthropist, and Hyatt hotel heiress, is Obama's final pick to fill vacancies among Cabinet...

US Factory Orders Jump 1.8%
 US Factory Orders Jump 1.8% 

US Factory Orders Jump 1.8%

...But indicator of future investments takes a downward turn

(Newser) - US factory orders increased in December, even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans. The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8% compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3%. But demand for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment...

US Retail Sales Rise 0.5%
 US Retail Sales Rise 0.5% 

US Retail Sales Rise 0.5%

Holiday sales indicate that no one was worried about fiscal cliff

(Newser) - US consumers increased their spending at retail businesses in December, buying more autos, furniture, and clothing. Steady job growth and lower gas prices kept consumers shopping for the holidays, despite worries about potential tax increases. The Commerce Department said today that retail sales rose 0.5% in December from November,...

Housing Starts Soar to Highest Since 2008

Almost all of the growth comes in apartments, townhouses

(Newser) - The housing market might finally be coming around. The number of new homes that began construction last month took a surprise 3.6% leap to an 894,000 annual rate—the highest since July 2008, the Commerce Department announced today. That's well above the 840,000 economists surveyed by...

Consumer Spending Jumps 0.8%
Consumer Spending
Jumps 0.8%

Consumer Spending Jumps 0.8%

It's the best report in 7 months, but outpaces income growth

(Newser) - Americans increased their spending in September at twice the rate their income rose, a sign of confidence in the economy. The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 0.8% in September, the best showing since February. Personal income rose 0.4%, an improvement from a slight 0.1% gain in...

Why June's Falling Retail Sales Matter

Because drop marks the first 3-month decline since 2008

(Newser) - Americans cut their spending at retail businesses for a third straight month, as a weak job market has made consumers more cautious. The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.5% in June from May. That followed declines of 0.2% and 0.5% in the previous two months. It...

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