Second Quarter | featured news

Switzerland on Brink of Recession

The Swiss economy has long appeared to be surprisingly resilient to the economic downturn across Europe, but the latest statistics released Tuesday showed that Switzerland is slowing down together with the rest of Europe. After a strong first quarter, the economy contracted in the second because of falling exports to the euro zone, the Alpine country's biggest trade partner. Compared with a year earlier, the Swiss economy still managed to expand at a 0.5% pace, but it contracted 0.1% from the first quarter.


Consumer debt eases despite growing student debt

A decrease in the amount owed on mortgages helped drive overall U.S. consumer debt lower in the second quarter, even as Americans kept piling up student loan debt, data showed on Wednesday. Total consumer debt fell 0.5 percent to $11.38 trillion compared to the first three months of the year, the New York Fed said in its quarterly household debt and credit report.


US economy grew at 1.7 percent rate in 2nd quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a tepid 1.7 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, suggesting growth will stay weak in the second half of the year. Slightly stronger consumer spending and greater exports were the main reasons the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that growth was better than its initial estimate of 1.5 percent. Still, growth has slowed from the 2 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter and the 4.1 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2011.


What Downturn? Bank Profits Hit $34.5 Billion

Here’s something that may (or may not) surprise about you about banks: They’re raking in profits like it’s 2007. It's not such a rosy environment for banks once you cut a little deeper into the numbers. The latest data from the FDIC show banks taking in net income of $34.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012, that’s up $5.9 billion from from the second quarter of 2011.


Number of new credit cards issued up 4 pct in 2Q

Americans are carrying more credit card debt than a year ago, yet the late-payment rate for card holders remains near an 18-year low, an analysis of consumer-credit data shows....


Fannie and Freddie Reports Offer Positive Sign for Housing

Housing Market

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage-finance giants, this week reported some of their best quarterly results since the real estate collapse. On Wednesday, Fannie Mae posted second-quarter net income of $5.1 billion. That is up from $2.7 billion in the first quarter of this year and an improvement from a net loss of $2.9 billion in the second quarter of last year. Fannie requested no additional money from the Treasury and said it would pay a $2.9 billion dividend to taxpayers.


McDonald's blames economy as sales stall in July


The Golden Arches are starting to lose some of their shine. McDonald's Corp. says a key revenue figure came in flat in July, its worst showing in more than nine years, as diners pulled back amid a rough economy. After years of outperforming rivals with a string of popular new items, the snag also suggests competition is intensifying for the world's biggest hamburger chain.


US worker productivity up 1.6 pct. in 2nd quarter

U.S. companies got slightly more out of their workers this spring after scaling back on hiring. The modest 1.6 percent annualized gain in productivity from April through June signals employers may need to hire more if demand picks up.


Washington Post Co. second-quarter profit up 13.6 percent

Online ad revenues rose 8 percent at the news division in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, reversing recent declines. But the $2 million increase in online revenues covered only a small part of the $9.9 million decline in print ads.

Senh: That's the probably with the newspaper industry. The increase in online ad revenue offsets only a quarter of the decrease in print.


Thomson Reuters's Net Rises 64%

Thomson Reuters Corp. profit rose 64% in the second quarter, helped by no longer having to pay integration expenses from its merger, though the company continued to face sluggish growth in its segment serving financial professionals.


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