In recent weeks, economists have been worrying about the negative impact of the now-ended government shutdown and potential debt crisis.
But away from Capitol Hill, the economy has been getting a big boost: Gasoline prices have been declining, week after week. In some parts of the country, a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is now down to less than $3 a gallon — a price most Americans haven't seen in three years.
And any time the pump price starts dropping, consumer spirits start rising.
Ready for a long Memorial Day weekend? If you’re heading out, you may want to look at the numbers. AAA Colorado predicts that 600,000 Coloradans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the weekend.
-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.
IEA chief Maria van der Hoeven, seen in a 2011 photo, said that North American production has set off a "supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world."
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
U.S. oil production is rising sharply and increased output from shale will be a "game changer" in global energy markets in the coming years, according to a new report out Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.