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In Job Islands, Work Is Plentiful but the Workers Are Not

Many isolated pockets of the U.S., like Thief River Falls, Minn., have a surfeit of jobs. Such “job islands” are a telling aberration from a national workforce still weighed down by stagnant wages and other signs of slack. [...]

Gas’s Drop Drives U.S. Into Deflation Territory

A measure of U.S. consumer prices fell in January from a year earlier, marking the first annual decline in more than five years and potentially complicating the calculus for when the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates. [...]

Debt Downgrade of Brazil Oil Giant Stirs Wider Concern

A decision by a major credit-rating firm to downgrade to junk status the debt of Petróleo Brasileiro is stoking fears that Brazil’s sovereign rating could be [...]

U.S. Jobless Claims Up to 313,000 Last Week

The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits rose last week, but the broader trend suggests a steadily healing labor [...]

Durable-Goods Orders Rose in January

Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods rebounded last month, suggesting the economic recovery remains on track while also hinting at sluggish business [...]

Financial Pressure on Ukraine Mounts

Ukraine’s central bank drastically limited access to foreign currency and Russia threatened to halt gas [...]

Greece Wants Citizens to Pay Up

The Greek government, scrambling to secure another tranche of funding, agreed to make tax collection a priority. But prodding its citizens to pay up has been one of the country’s most difficult [...]

EU Urges French Budget Cuts

European Union authorities said France must adopt significant additional budget-deficit cuts over the next three years to bring its government finances in line with EU [...]

Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan Tilt

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen came under fire from Republican lawmakers who charged she had politicized the central bank, allegations she rejected in her most acrimonious congressional hearing in a year as Fed [...]

U.S. Home Sales Falter to Start Year

Sales of previously owned homes slowed in January, a reflection of the rising prices and tight supplies that could constrain the housing market this [...]

Growth in U.S. Home Prices Slowed in 2014

Home prices in 2014 saw yearly growth slow to the weakest pace in three years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report released [...]

Yellen Puts Fed on Path to Lift Rates

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, sounding upbeat about the economy, started laying the groundwork for interest-rate increases later this [...]

Deflation Threat Grows in Europe

Consumer prices across the European Union fell in January at the fastest rate since records began in 1997, increasing the risk that the 28-member bloc will slide into [...]

Greece Delays Awaited Reforms Until Tuesday

Greece’s government pushed back a list of awaited reforms that its eurozone partners had demanded in exchange for continuing to fund the country for another few [...]

Brazil Experts Fear a Two-Year Downturn

Economists say nation is likely to suffer first back-to-back decline in GDP since [...]

Ukraine’s Hryvnia Hits New Low

The central bank moved to calm panicky currency markets after the hryvnia plummeted to a new low against the dollar, while the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine showed more signs of [...]

Rising Franc Upends Daily Life in Swiss Borderlands

Switzerland’s decision last month to lift the cap on the franc is disturbing everyday transactions in the country’s border [...]

Dollar Stronger Ahead of Yellen’s Testimony

The dollar rose against the euro and edged higher against other currencies on Monday ahead of testimony Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will provide to Congress on the U.S. economy and interest [...]

Oil’s Plunge Could Help Fuel Its Rebound

The Outlook: The more oil prices fall, the more people can afford oil, an effect that can goose demand and ultimately help push prices back [...]

Bonds Strengthen Before Yellen’s Testimony

U.S. government bonds strengthened Monday as a disappointing U.S. housing report boosted demand for haven [...]

Harsh Winter Yet to Take Economic Toll

Economists say a harsh winter in much of the U.S. has yet to have a big impact on the economy, noting that last year’s widespread storms had more of an [...]

Middle Class, Undefined: How Purchasing Power Affects Perceptions of Wealth

Columnist Jo Craven McGinty looks at how policy makers’ definitions of where the middle class ends fail to account for differences in purchasing power, and why that [...]

Fannie, Freddie Weak Earnings Raise Possibility of New Bailouts

The delay in reforming the nation’s housing-finance system is presenting policymakers with an uncomfortable reality: The terms of the bailout could lead to a new [...]

White House Sees Workforce as Best Bet to Tackle Deficits

The White House has a new tack for dealing with rising deficits: try to boost the workforce and its productivity in the hopes of muddling through the surge of retirees that will strain the social safety net for the next 20 [...]

U.K. Posts Biggest Budget Surplus Since 2008

A boost in income tax receipts in January led to the strongest U.K. government budget surplus in seven years, a sign the outgoing coalition is likely to meet its fiscal targets ahead of the general election in [...]

U.S. Lawmakers Press Abe on Free Trade

A visiting U.S. congressional delegation pressed Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a bold market opening amid growing expectations that an agreement can be reached for creating a free-trade area across the [...]

Treasury Official Says Separate Currency Measures, Trade Talks

The U.S. Treasury’s top financial diplomat signaled the administration would oppose lawmaker efforts to include in trade legislation enforceable sanctions against countries that manipulate their [...]

Lending to Subprime Borrowers Picks Up

Loans to consumers with low credit scores have reached the highest level since the start of the financial crisis, driven by a boom in car lending and a new crop of financial [...]

Fed Tiptoes Into Debate on Rate Rise

Federal Reserve officials held detailed discussions in January on the timing and pace of interest-rate increases, though they stopped short of agreeing to specific plans, according to minutes of the meeting. [...]

Economy’s Supply Side Sputters

Capital Account: WSJ columnist Greg Ip finds that supply-side troubles have replaced demand problems as the biggest threat to the U.S. [...]

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to 283,000 in Latest Week

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, the latest sign of improvement in the labor [...]

Russia Edges Toward Recession

Although the rate of inflation is slowing, a sharp decline in retail sales and a drop in real wages indicated that Russian consumers are bearing the brunt of the economic [...]

Greek Bailout Meeting Hinges on Request

Eurozone finance ministers have tentatively scheduled a meeting on Friday to discuss a request from Greece to extend its bailout, but they will only meet if the request eases their concerns, European officials said. [...]

Japanese Exports Jump in January

Japan’s exports continued to rebound in January while imports shrank, as the yen’s sharp fall and the nation’s powerful manufacturing industry helped the country deal with a weak domestic [...]

Cheaper Oil Drags Down Business Inflation, but Long Deflationary Period Unlikely

U.S. inflation gauges are sliding toward negative territory for the first time in more than five years. But the oil-fueled tumble in prices is far from the kind of growth-sapping episodes of deflation that tend to worry [...]

U.S. Housing Starts Slip 2%; Permits Down, Too

Builders slowed new-home construction last month after a brisk December, pointing to uneven demand in an otherwise slowly recovering housing market. [...]

U.S. Industrial Production Up 0.2%

U.S. industrial production increased slightly in January but not enough to offset December’s decline, indicating the sector is off to a slow start in 2015. [...]

Americans Add Debt, but Fissures Appear

Americans took out more loans as the year ended—up $117 billion, to $11.8 trillion, in the 4th quarter—yet also showed signs of having difficulty keeping up with their auto and student-loan [...]

Home-Builder Confidence Dips

A measure of home-builder confidence dipped in February, a sign that the housing sector may continue to face headwinds in [...]

White House Intervenes in Port Labor Talks

The White House said it would intervene in stalled labor talks at West Coast ports, sending the Labor secretary to meet with both parties and urge them to complete a new contract and avoid further [...]

Cleveland Fed President Sees June Increase as Viable

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is joining a chorus of central-bank officials who want to take a tentative step toward raising short-term interest rates at midyear by altering their pledge to be “patient” before making a [...]

Greek Talks Break Down

Talks over how to keep Greece afloat broke down abruptly, demonstrating a wide gulf between Athens and its European creditors and heightening uncertainty over Greece’s future in the [...]

Japan GDP Growth Falls Short

Japan’s economy pulled out of a recession in the fourth quarter of last year, but weak domestic demand pointed to further challenges ahead for Prime Minister Shinzo [...]

China Foreign Investment Rises

China recorded strong inflows of foreign investment capital in January despite slower economic growth, as services and high-end manufacturing lured investor interest, government data [...]

Import Data Show Few Inflation Signs

Prices of imported goods posted their biggest drop in six years in January, more evidence that plunging oil prices have tamped down inflation in the [...]