April 2010 Current Events: Business News
Here are the key events in business and science news for the month of April 2010.
- Sales of New Cars Rise in March, Due Partly to Toyota's Recalls (Apr. 1): Auto sales for new vehicles in March rise 41 percent over March of 2009, due in part to Toyota's offers of subsidized leases and interest-free financing for the models it has recalled since November. Ford and G.M. were forced to compete by offering zero-percent loans, and Toyota's Japanese competitors followed suit. March 2010 was the best month for new vehicle sales since September 2008, excluding the month that the government ran its "cash for clunkers" incentive campaign.
- 162,000 Jobs Added in March; Unemployment Remains at 9.7% (Apr. 2): Though the nationwide unemployment rate held steady at 9.7% in March, the economy actually added 162,000 jobs last month, reports the U.S. Labor Department. The nation has lost eight million jobs since the beginning of the recession two years ago, so this is welcome news, especially for President Obama. However, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the unemployment rate will stay around 10% for the remainder of 2010.
- U.S. Home Sales Jump 8.2% in February (Apr. 5): After many months of sluggish home sales, the number of houses purchased in February rose a surprising 8.2%. Analysts attribute the influx of sales to the homebuyers tax credit of $8,000, set to expire this month, and the large number of foreclosed houses available on the market. The increase in sales is good news for the struggling housing market; however, the prices of homes are still close to an all-time low.
- Retail Sales Rose 1.6% in March (Apr. 14): The Commerce Department reports that U.S. retail sales, bolstered by auto sales, rose 1.6% in March, over February's numbers. The increase is better than economists had expected, initially predicting a rise of 1.2%. Consumer spending increased at a wide variety of stores, from clothing to home repair.
- S.E.C. Accuses Goldman Sachs of Fraud (Apr. 16): The Securities and Exchange Commission files a civil lawsuit against bank Goldman Sachs over a fraudulent housing deal. The S.E.C. claims that Goldman Sachs created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail. The bank denies the accusations.
- U.S. Economy Grew 3.2% in First Quarter (Apr. 30): The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2010, the third quarter with a report of growth, rather than retraction. Though that rate is not rapid enough to make up for the losses during the recession, it does demonstrate that the economy is slowly improving.