April Thompson makes a purchase at Legacy Team Sales in Ocala, Fla., in September. Economists say October's surprisingly strong job growth will encourage the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next month. So holiday shoppers may pay more for using credit cards.
Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner/Landov
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking at a news conference in Washington on Thursday, said the U.S. economy has been performing well but the global outlook is more uncertain.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee in July. This week, Yellen and other policymakers are weighing the Fed's first rate increase in nine years.
A Chinese worker is seen at a construction site in Beijing. Economic changes in China and in other places have reduced demand and prices for commodities like the metal in the building's structure.
Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said consumers generally haven't been using the savings from lower gasoline prices to spend on other things.
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Target shoppers Kelly Foley (from left), Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor's prices while shopping shortly after midnight on Black Friday, in South Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
A New York Stock Exchange trader works on the floor on Dec. 17. Stocks rose nearly 300 points after the Federal Reserve announced it plans to begin raising interest rates next year.
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Monument to headier times: The euro logo outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The International Monetary Fund has warned of possible deflation in parts of Europe.
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