Warmer temperatures lift nation's economy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring's thaw is reviving the economy, too.
A recent batch of government and business reports show a U.S. economy emerging from winter's deep freeze.
Economists had expected growth to accelerate in 2014 after two years of slow and steady improvement. But an unusually bitter winter sent factories, hiring and consumer spending into
Now, as temperatures rise, the economy is regaining momentum. Factories are busier. Consumers are spending more.
Banks are making more loans to businesses. Companies have bigger plans to invest in plants and equipment. And the improvement appears to be widespread across the country.
Eeconomy up for 3rd straight month
WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of the U.S. economy's health rose in March for the third consecutive month, a sign of stronger growth after harsh winter weather caused the economy's pace to slow.
The Conference Board said Monday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.8 percent in March after a 0.5 percent rise in February and modest 0.2 percent gain in January. It was the best showing since a 0.9 percent gain in November.
Both hiring and consumer outlooks have improved, which along with interest rates fueled much of the index's improvement. That offset a negative contribution from building permits. The index looks at a series of different indicators to spot peaks and troughs in economic growth.
Union drops appeal of defeat in vote
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The United Auto Workers dropped its appeal of a worker vote against unionizing at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, a move that the union said should put pressure on Republican politicians to quickly approve incentives the German automaker is seeking to expand its lone U.S. assembly plant.
The prolonged fight over labor issues at the Chattanooga facility appeared headed for a lengthy National Labor Relations Board appeal until the UAW announced an hour before a scheduled hearing that it was ending its challenge. The February vote went against the union 712-626.
Some Republican lawmakers had blamed the appeal for holding up expansion plans at the plant - and the UAW says that perceived obstacle is now out of the way.