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Blog Category: Economy

Secretary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu Headline Clean Energy Economy Forum with Business Leaders

Secretary Chu and Locke at podium.

File photo

Commerce Secretary Locke and Energy Secretary Chu joined Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner and other top administration officials in a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with business leaders from around the country. “If we create the right incentives on energy, it will drive demand for clean energy and efficiency that will foster the creation of new businesses and the jobs that come with them,” Locke said. The administration officials reiterated the need for a comprehensive energy plan that puts America back in control of its energy future and breaks a dependence on oil that threatens our economy, our environment, and our national security. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Meets with Muslim- and Arab-American Business Leaders on the Economy, Innovation and 2010 Census

Locke and participants in a group pose.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with members of the Muslim- and Arab-American business communities in Dearborn to discuss forging new business partnerships. “Getting our economy growing again will require strong action by both the government and the private sector,” Locke said. “If the Commerce Department and the Obama administration can help make your business a little more efficient, a little more innovative or get you access to a new market—then we'll have accomplished something we can be proud of.” Locke also highlighted the importance of the 2010 Census in ensuring representation and federal funding for the community. (Remarks)

Statement from Under Secretary Blank on August 2009 Personal Income and Outlays

Portrait of Under Secretary Blank.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released personal income and outlays for August 2009. Personal income rose 0.2 percent, real personal consumption expenditures jumped 0.9 percent, and real disposable personal income decreased 0.2 percent. “The recent growth in consumer spending along with the gains in housing activity, exports and industrial production suggest that the economy is beginning to expand after contracting in four consecutive quarters,” U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. (More) (Release)

Statement from Chief Economist Doms on Third Estimate of GDP

Portrait of Mark Dom.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the third estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2009. The drop in real GDP was revised modestly to 0.7 percent at an annual rate from the second estimate of 1.0 percent. Most analysts had expected a decrease of 1.2 percent. The modest revision primarily reflected an upward revision to non-residential fixed investment. “Today's revision of real GDP in the second quarter indicates that the economy has begun to stabilize,” Mark Doms, chief economist at the U.S. Commerce Department, said. (More) (Release)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Launches Twitter Account

Twitter logo.

Image Credit: Twitter

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has launched a Twitter account in an effort to connect with Americans from all walks of life, especially U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs that use the microblogging service. “Really excited to start tweeting! Innovation is the growth engine of the American economy & this is a great place to talk about that,” Locke's first tweet, from the Inc. 500/5000 conference, read. At the conference, attended yesterday by representatives of successful start-up businesses, Locke also announced the Commerce Department's new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To follow Locke, visit http://www.twitter.com/seclocke. (More)

Locke to Lead U.S. Delegation to Chile for the Americas Competitiveness Forum

ACF logo. Click to visit ACF Web site)

U.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Santiago, Chile, September 27-29, to participate in the third Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). The ACF brings together representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to spark innovation, create jobs and expand trade among the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. Department of Commerce hosted the first two ACFs in Atlanta in 2007 and 2008. Secretary Locke will be joined by the Presidents of Chile and Guatemala, as well as ministers of trade and economy from throughout the region and senior representatives from business and academia. (More) (ACF Web site)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama for Health Insurance Reform Rally in Maryland

Screen capture image of White House video showing Obama with students and faculty behind him.

Image courtesy White House Web site video

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama at the University of Maryland for a rally on health insurance reform. Locke described how health insurance reform will impact American businesses, the economy, and ultimately the job market students will enter after graduation. President Obama discussed what’s at stake for the American people in this debate, why we need health insurance reform and why we need to act now. The president’s plan has two goals: to bring stability and security to Americans who have insurance today, and affordable coverage to those who don’t. (More event coverage) (Presidential remarks)

Statement from Secretary Locke on August 2009 New Residential Construction

Photo of Secretary Locke.

File Photo

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Bureau of the Census released data on new residential construction in August 2009. Permits rose 2.7 percent in August and have increased 16.3 percent from their low in April, after plummeting a total of 78.0 percent between September 2005 and April 2009. Starts have followed a similar pattern, increasing 1.5 percent in August. “The upturn in housing activity and the recent gains in retail sales and industrial production demonstrate considerable progress toward recovery. More stimulus spending in the coming months should help spread growth to other sectors of the economy,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke Hosts U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Receives Recommendations to Promote Economy

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Secretary Locke seated at table with Board  participants. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke participated in a U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) meeting to discuss recommendations key to growing the economy and boosting tourism. The travel and tourism industry, which accounts for 2.6 percent of U.S. GDP, has been adversely impacted by the economic downturn. Locke asked the TTAB for its views regarding issues facing the travel and tourism industry. The Board was established in 2003 and consists of up to 15 private-sector industry leaders who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. (TTAB Web site)

Secretary Locke Discusses Goals for a Clean Energy Economy with Governors Granholm and Doyle

Locke and participants at clean energy forum. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Executive Director of the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers Ed Montgomery, and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow joined Governors Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) and Jim Doyle (D-Wisc.) in hosting a Clean Energy Economy Forum with local and regional stakeholders in Saginaw, Mich. The group discussed the administration’s vision for a comprehensive energy plan to jump-start the American clean energy sector and create millions of new jobs developing technologies that will cut pollution while producing alternative sources of energy. (More)