Christmas on ... Independence Day? Determined to avoid a repeat performance of last year’s lackluster sales, retailers have moved up “Christmas creep” even earlier than usual, stocking shelves with gifts during the summer months.
Behold the house of the future. It’s just like the house of the past, only with some subtle nip-and-tuck work. Across the U.S., home builders are redesigning houses using a set of strategies they call "value engineering" – the art of building a house on the cheap without making it look cheap.
The stock market’s been climbing. Housing prices are on the rebound. But the job market? Like a bum on a bender, it still hasn’t hit bottom. Even as the Dow continued its impressive run-up in recent months, Americans were still losing jobs at the rate of 2,500 an hour.
Picture a muscled bully snatching candy from a skinny kid. That, according to aggrieved entrepreneurs at the American Small Business League, is what’s going on in federal government contracting – where big conglomerates are grabbing almost $60 billion a year that’s supposed to be going to small businesses.
You don’t have to know a piston ring from a brake caliper to know that it’s been a historic year for the car industry – and not in a good way. Back in the spring, Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection with an Italian last name.
Overall, personal bankruptcy filings were up 36.5 percent in the first half of 2009 from the same time a year ago, and experts predict the number of filings will keep rising even as the economy recovers.
It’s a typical meeting for the dozen or so men and women convening at a conference table in the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell, Pa. Doctors by profession, they’re dressed casually in fleece jackets and sweaters, peering at their laptops and making the occasional wisecrack.
The struggling furniture industry is getting some much-needed cushion from some unlikely sources. Who’d have thought that things like "reclaimed" wood, bike rims and bourbon barrels might help the struggling sector pull through the recent retail sales funk?