New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 29, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Saturday, July 29, 2000 — Hkkald-Zkitijng — Page 3ASupercharged U.S. economy continues growth
WASHINGTON (AP) — The supercharged U.S. economy did not cool off as expected in the spring but instead grew at an even faster 5.2 percent rate, propelled by strong business investment and government spending, the government reported Friday.
The Commerce Department’s first look at the gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic health — for the April-June quarter prompted President Clinton to hail the “vigorous” economic performance during his two terms.
Wall Street, however, worried that the stronger-than-expected growth will increase the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for a seventh time when Fed officials next meet on Aug. 22.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 74.96 points to close at 10,511.17. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 179.23, extending Thursday’s
145-point slide and bringing the week’s loss to 431 points or 10.5 percent.
Clinton used the new GDP figure to preach the benefits of protecting the federal surpluses against Republican-passed measures to cut taxes.
“We should stay on the path to fiscal discipline and not endanger our prosperity by passing one expensive tax cut after another,” Clinton said on a fund raising-trip to Rhode Island.
The new GDP report confounded the economic experts, who had widely forecast a slowing of growth in the second quarter based on a belief that the Fed’s previous rate hikes would cut into consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of total economic activity.
Revised figures showed the GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.8 by a pickup in business investment in computers and other equipment, which climbed at an annual rate of 19.1 percent.
Additionally, businesses upped their
spending on inventories, in part to replenish depleted stockpiles.
“The big slowdown in consumer spending was offset by a boom in capital spending,” said Allen Sinai, chief economist for Primark Economics in New York.
“This was not a soft-landing report. We still have a booming economy.”
The Fed, concerned that the lowest unemployment rates in three decades would trigger inflationary wage demands, started raising interest rates in June 1999 to slow activity to a more sustainable pace and keep inflation from becoming a problem.
And the new report did contain good news on inflation. Despite the strong growth in the spring, inflation pressures actually moderated.
A price measure tied to the GDP rose at an annual rate of just 2.3 percent in the second quarter, even better than a 3.5 percent rate of increase in the first quarter.
Some analysts said they believed the
absence of inflationary pressures would allow the Fed to remain on the sidelines at its August meeting, awaiting evidence that the combined impact of the six rate hikes so far has started to slow growth.
“The heart of the issue is productivity, which seems to be so strong that it is offsetting any inflationary pressures,” said Oscar Gonzalez, economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.
Analysts said the big increase in business investment in computers and other productivity-enhancing devices should provide assurance to the Fed that the pickup in productivity in recent years will continue.
In addition to business investment, government spending took a big leap upward in the second quarter, rising at an annual rate of 6 percent.
Federal spending was increasing at a rate of 17.2 percent, reflecting in part hiring of temporary workers to conduct the Census, while state and local spending
showed a much smaller gain of 0.5 percent.
Economists’ efforts to predict quarterly movements in GDP were complicated this month by the government’s annual revisions of past data.
Those revisions left the annual GDP increase at 4.2 percent in 1999 but revised upward the gains in 1998, from 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent, and in 1997, from 4.2 percent to 4.4 percent.
The revisions also changed the pattern of quarterly movements with the fourth quarter of 1999 now shown as growing at a remarkable annual rate of 7.3 percent, the best performance in nearly 16 years, while the first quarter was revised down to 4.8 percent from 5.5 percent.
The strength in the second quarter occurred despite the fact that America’s trade deficit widened significantly, subtracting 1.5 percentage points from growth.
GOP holds ground on abortion platform
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Republicans turned aside an effort to moderate their policy against abortion Friday night after passionate debate on an issue that strains GOP unity more than any other.
The platform “is meaningless if it doesn’t stand for something,” said Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, who opposed giving any ground to abortion-rights Republicans. “Saving unborn children is a very noble cause.”
The party’s platform committee voted Friday night to maintain uncompromising language against abortion, leaving a vocal minority on the other side searching for ways to press their case as the Republican National Convention prepares to open Monday.
Presidential candidate George W. Bush decided months ago not to rouse the religious right by taking it on over abortion.
At one point Friday, as confusion mixed with emotion in the debate, the platform committee voted to “welcome people on all sides of this complex issue and encourage their active participation.”
But because of the confusion in the way the motion was presented some who voted for that language — Hyde among them — thought they were voting against it. Another vote was held and the motion went down.
“Just think, we were welcomed for about IO or 15 minutes,” said Ann Stone of Republicans for Choice.
Abortion rights advocates were exploring two main options: including a minority report in the platform if they could get at least 27 members of the 107-member platform committee to write one, and bringing an abortion debate to the convention floor.
Each course is fraught with procedural hurdles but would be a marked advance for advocates if achieved.
In 1996, the views of Republicans who favor abortion rights were relegated to an appendix that merely recited a series of failed resolutions.
The platform committee finishes debate on the document Saturday and will vote to adopt it before sending it to the convention to be ratified.
An accommodation proving impossible on abortion, the party began rallying behind other aspects of a platform that holds onto conservative principles while shifting toward the center in tone and a few policy areas, in keeping with Bush's “compassionate conservatism.”
The party is set to drop its previous positions in favor of eliminating the Education Department.
making English the official language and denying social services to immigrants.
It favors a stronger federal role in environmental protection than before.
But Bush’s aggressive agenda on education was put to a test in one platform subcommittee, which approved language saying the role of the federal government “must be progressively limited” in that area.
Although Bush also emphasizes state and local control of education, his plans call for a strong federal presence and he would use federal dollars to reward or penalize states according to how well their students perform on standardized tests.
The party is holding to its official view against same-sex marriage and its contention that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Con
servative committee members also added language opposing special legal protections for gays.
In opposing abortion and gay rights, the platform satisfies social conservatives on the two issues most important to them, said Gary Bauer, former candidate for the GOP nomination and longtime activist from the religious right.
“In both those areas, the platform is very acceptable,” Bauer said.
Before the full platform committee took up abortion, a panel voted 10-3 against an attempt to strike abortion language from the document altogether, and 11 -3 against an amendment expressing welcome for both sides on the issue.SUBSCRIBE 625-9144LUXURY MATTRESS SETS $125.00
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Evelyn Moyle Morgan, 88, passed away Monday, July 24, 2000, in West Columbia. Visitation will be from IO a.m. to noon Thursday at Palms Funeral Home. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2000, in Cranes Mill Cemetery in Canyon Lake, Texas. Rev. Don Somerville will officiate.
Evelyn Morgan was born Jan. 21, 1912, in Hibbing, Minnisota to Ray D. and Marie C. Moyle. She received a degree in botany from Sui Ross College in Alpine, Texas and was a former Teacher. She w as married in 1948 in San Francisco, Calif., to Lester E. Morgan, who preceded her in death. She had been a resident of Angleton, Rosharon and Canyon Lake. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church and was active in church, garden club, civic and volunteer work. She served on the board of directors of Angleton-Danbury General Hospital and
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was a member of the Angleton-Danbury General Hospital Auxiliary.
In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by parents and brothers, Robert and Howard Moyle.
Survivors include her nephews, Robert M. Moyle of N. Olmsted, Ohio and Ray H. Moyle Sr. of Rosharon, Texas; niece Mona M. Fenn of West Columbia, Texas.
Palms Funeral Home in Angleton, Texas
PARIS (AP) — Why did the supersonic jet catch fire? Why couldn’t the pilot extinguish the blaze by remote control? Did mechanics who worked on the plane shortly before takeoff contribute to the first-ever Concorde crash? Or was it a tire-burst that triggered the blaze?
Serious, unanswered questions faced French officials who pored over data Thursday collected from the doomed needle-nosed luxury jet’s two black boxes to determine what caused the crash that killed 114 people — and prevent it from
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Experts were not ruling out human error by mechanics or the two pilots.
Potential flaws in the design or construction of the plane also were a concern. Late Friday afternoon, the French Transport Ministry said at least one wheel exploded which could have damaged the plane’s structure, triggered a fire and caused one of the engines to fail.
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