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Financial 411: Weekly Business Roundup

Friday, March 25, 2011

Economy Grew at the End of 2010

Economic growth improved in the final three months of last year. According to the Commerce Department, the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. The number was revised upward by 3/10th of a percent. It marks the best quarterly growth since the start of last year. More consumer spending led the way.

Rising food and gas prices could stunt future growth. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell in March. Only a quarter of respondents expect an improvement in their finances this year.

Markets

Investors focused more on a good earnings report from Oracle and stocks ended up Friday.

The Dow added 50 points, closing at 12,221. The index added more than 350 points this week.  
The Nasdaq ended the day at 2,743, after gaining seven points.  
The S&P 500 rose four points, settling at 1,313.

Reviewing this Week's Business and Economic News

This week, Albany lawmakers said they are really close to agreeing on a state budget, with money restored to education, but lots of cuts in other place. The U.S. Census revealed that New York City's population grew in the past decade, but a lot less than Mayor Michael Bloomberg expected. And former Mayor Ed Koch got a bridge named after him. Greg David, director of the Business & Economics Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, reviews this week's business news.

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