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Economy

Slow economic growth likely in 9 Midwest, Plains states

According to a survey of nine states, the overall economic index for November is 51.2, an increase from October's 50. An above-50 score suggests growth, while any score below 50 suggests decline, survey organizers say.

U.S. agriculture policy to be subject of forum Thursday night

Members of the public are invited to take part in a discussion of U.S. farm policy and the farm bill. The featured speaker will be Dr. Pat Westhoff, a professor in the MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Columbia gas prices jump 28 cents in 1 day

Ryan Rowden of the Missouri Petroleum Council, said the jump is the result of a small increase in wholesale prices, which have risen by about 5 percent in three days.

Expert: Shutdown hurt Midwest business conditions

The federal government shutdown has contributed to worsening business conditions in Midwest and Plains states, according to the Mid-America Business Conditions Index. The overall index plunged to a growth neutral 50.0 in October following figures of 54.8 in September and 53.8 in August.

Missouri corn yields on pace to drop prices

Missouri is forecast to produce an average of 130 bushels of corn per acre this year, the state's highest since 2009.

Retailers see slow start to back-to-school season

As consumers are holding off on back-to-school shopping, according to a preliminary tally of 10 retailers, many stores are already offering discounts.

U.S. jobless claims at 6-year low but hiring lags

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits over the past four weeks dropped to a seasonally adjusted 335,500, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began.

American economy adds modest 162,000 jobs in July

Friday's report from the Labor Department pointed to a less-than-robust job market as July's gain of 162,000 jobs was the smallest since March. And most of the job growth came in lower-paying industries or part-time work.

Twinkies to return July 15, to last longer than many may remember

Hostess Brands LLC says the spongy yellow cakes will have a shelf life of 45 days when they start hitting shelves again July 15. That's nearly three weeks longer than the 26 days the previous owner had stated as the shelf life for Twinkies.

In urban revival, beer helps create small business hubs

Trendy small businesses like breweries and younger residents have been returning to downtown neighborhoods in many cities across the U.S.

Federal Reserve suggests it's closer to slowing bond purchases

The Fed's bond purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates at record lows. A pullback in the Fed's purchases would likely lead to higher rates on mortgages and other consumer and business loans.

Weak post-recession job market discourages Americans from submitting applications

The percentage of Americans in the labor force dropped to its lowest point since May 1979 after more than half a million people left the work force from February to March.

Group plans large greenhouse farm in Kansas City

Officials with BrightFarms Inc. and the Port Authority of Kansas City announced Monday a plan to build the greenhouse on a 5-acre tract just east of the Heart of America Bridge and next to Berkley Riverfront Park.

Consumer confidence falls in March

The index is closely watched by economists because it makes a monthly gauge of how Americans are feeling about their jobs, incomes and other bread-and-butter issues. That's important because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Boone County Commission seeks board members to oversee Children's Services Fund

The nine-member board will be responsible for the fund, which was created when voters passed a sales tax increase in the November election.

Most U.S. taxpayers won't be able to escape 'fiscal cliff'

A package of tax increases and spending cuts, known as the "fiscal cliff," would take effect in January unless Congress passes a new budget deal before then. 

 

Budget experts say cuts would reduce deficit but cause recession

Congress will look at the tax and spending changes next week, which would cut the federal deficit by $503 billion but cause a spike in unemployment.

 

Low Columbia gas prices are a welcome break for drivers

Columbia gas prices averaged $3.10 Thursday, a 42-cent decrease from the 2011 state average.

Hurricane Sandy's cost might reach $50 billion, although rebuilding could help economy

Hurricane Sandy could be among the ten costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

Fed: Housing lifts growth in most U.S. regions

The Fed is buying mortgage bonds to lower longer-term rates, which could spur more borrowing and spending. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.

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