Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
November 30, 2012 Many in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic couldn't get to stores and were out of work for at least a short time because of the destruction Sandy wrought. That dampened spending and cut into incomes.
Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
November 29, 2012 Gross domestic product grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate, the government says. Not only is that a sharp upward revision from the previous estimate, it's also growth at twice the rate of the second quarter.
Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton /Reuters /Landov
November 28, 2012 The central bank says conditions continued to improve, though not dramatically, in recent weeks. The report adds to other evidence that the economy is moving along fast enough to keep unemployment from rising, but not fast enough to bring the jobless rate down sharply.
A sold sign at a new home site in Danville, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
November 28, 2012 Though the pace dipped 0.3 percent from September to October, it was up 17.2 percent from September 2011. It's another sign that the housing sector is on the mend, though growth has been somewhat uneven.
If they're confident, they will shop: Two women carry shopping bags down Manhattan's 34th St. last week.
Andrew Kelly/Getty Images
November 27, 2012 Consumers purchase more than two-thirds of all goods and services. If they're feeling better, that's a good omen for the overall economy.
A sold sign at a housing development in Boca Raton, Fla., earlier this month.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
November 27, 2012 Signs that the housing sector is recovering have been popping up in recent months. Today's news adds to the evidence. Prices were up earlier this fall in nearly all major cities.
The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov
November 21, 2012 The storm cost some people their jobs and forced many to delay filing their claims. The effects will likely continue to be felt for some time.
This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
November 19, 2012 Sales of existing homes rose again in October. Meanwhile, home builders are the most confident they've been in more than six years. Taken together, the reports are the latest signs that the housing sector is on the mend.
The line was long last week at a job fair in Chicago.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
November 15, 2012 The storm threw some people onto unemployment rolls and shut down some state offices the previous week — meaning some laid-off workers couldn't file their claims until last week.
The golden arches at a McDonald's restaurant in Miami.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
November 8, 2012 Sales at the chain's restaurants that have been open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent in October. It's the first month-to-month decline for the fast-food giant in that important indicator since April 2003.
Job-related booklets at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office in Brooklyn.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
November 8, 2012 Some of those who were out of work may not have been able to file claims, however, because of the damage the storm inflicted on parts of New Jersey, New York and surrounding states.
"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan. Will consumers come out in force this holiday season? Their confidence was high in October.
Michael Nagle/Getty Images
November 1, 2012 Many Americans are feeling more upbeat about the economy, according to the latest report from the Conference Board. That could bode well for the 2012 holiday shopping season.
Job seekers were on line at a career fair in Manhattan back in August.
John Moore/Getty Images
November 1, 2012 Claims for jobless benefits dipped and one measure showed a gain last month in private jobs. But employers also announced more layoffs. The picture may get clearer on Friday, when October's unemployment rate will be reported.
Hitting the mall: Spending rose in September.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
October 29, 2012 There was a 0.8 percent rise from August to September. Since consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity, it is crucial.
October 26, 2012 The economy is growing and consumer confidence is rising. But the data are too mixed to point to a robust economy. And it may be too late anyway to change voters' impressions.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor