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Recessions and depressions

Strengthening US growth reflects help from Fed

US economy growing while others falter; Fed actions of the past bearing fruit
Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy powered its way to a solid annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent from July through September, outpacing most of the developed world and appearing on track to extend its momentum through this year and beyond.

The result isn't a fluke.

It turns out the world's biggest economy did a lot of things right after the Great Recession that set it apart from other major nations. In the view of many economists, those key decisions, particularly by the Federal Reserve, appear to be paying off now.

Retail sales weaken in Dec. but cap a record year

Retail sales inch up to end record year; holiday-season layoffs boost unemployment claims
Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - America's retailers enjoyed a record 2011 and their first $400 billion sales months ever. But the final month of the year was a dud.

Sales eked out a 0.1 per cent increase in December, to a seasonally adjusted $400.6 billion.

It was the second straight month that sales topped $400 billion. Revised government data showed that sales in November also surpassed that level.

Skyscraper boom may herald downturn

Pride cometh before a fall: Skyscraper boom may herald economic downturn
Erika Kinetz, The Associated Press

MUMBAI, India - A skyscraper building boom in China and India may be a sign of an impending economic correction in two of Asia's largest economies, according to a new report by Barclays Capital.

Barclays has mapped an "unhealthy correlation" between construction of the world's tallest buildings and impending financial crises over the last 140 years.

Today, China is home to half of the world's skyscrapers — defined as buildings over 240 metres tall — currently under construction.

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