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Blog Category: Growth

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)

Locke Urges Western Hemisphere to 'Resist the Protectionist Temptation' at ACF in Santiago

Secretary Locke with ACF logo behind him. Click for larger image.

As economies around the world continue to deal with the effects of the global economic slowdown, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged countries of the Western Hemisphere to resist temptations to turn inward and erect trade barriers during a keynote address at the third Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) in Santiago, Chile. “The United States is committed to resisting the protectionist temptation because protectionism simply does not work,” said Locke. “I came to Chile this week to affirm that the Obama administration will be your strongest ally in your efforts to revive economic growth in the Americas.” (More) (Remarks) (Release)

Secretary Locke Conducts Swearing In Ceremony for Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower

Locke shakes hands with Hightoweras Dori Bye Hightower looks on. Click for larger image that includes more family members.

Secretary Gary Locke conducted the ceremonial swearing in ceremony for U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower. Hightower will lead the charge to improve the Department’s efficiency, effectiveness and performance management. As deputy secretary, he will play a key role in ensuring that the United States continues to advance its direction as a global leader in innovation, growth and job creation. Hightower is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, and has established an accomplished business-centric career in the private sector for more than 20 years. (Secretary’s remarks) (Deputy Secretary’s remarks)

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)

Commerce Secretary Locke Meets with Defense Secretary Gates on Export Controls and Business Visa Reform

Secretaries Locke and Gates talking while seated at desk. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Their meeting centered on export controls and business visa reform and the importance of considering improvements to these systems that will make United States exporters more competitive, leading to more U.S. jobs and economic growth. Locke and Gates met for an hour and agreed to continue to work together with their counterparts at other cabinet agencies toward these important reforms. The secretaries plan to meet again in the next few weeks with fellow administration officials to address their progress. (More)

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 meets with France's Minister of State for Foreign Trade

Ildrac and Locke seated. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with France’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, at the Commerce Department. This was their first meeting. Secretary Locke and Minister of State Idrac shared views on the importance of increasing trade and economic growth. Locke affirmed, “The U.S. government is committed to expanding trade and avoiding protectionist policies.” The Secretary suggested that the Doha Round must be balanced and ambitious. “The United States and France would benefit from increasing trade with developing nations,” he said. (More)

Locke Travels to Massachusetts, Highlights Administration Commitment to Economic Recovery, Focus on 2010 Census

Secretary Locke with technician at Cambridge Innovation Center. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke traveled to Massachusetts to highlight the Obama administration’s efforts to turn around the economy by supporting innovation and spurring clean energy job growth. In Cambridge, Locke held a town hall meeting with local business leaders and toured the Cambridge Innovation Center, as well as the Genzyme Corp. headquarters building, designed in an environmentally friendly way. In the evening, Locke addressed the annual national convention of the Asian American Journalists Association in Boston, focusing on the 2010 Census and its profound effects on the future of U.S. residents and communities. (Remarks)

BEA: Personal Income Growth for Metropolitan Areas Slows in 2008 Over 2007

Map of U.S. indicating percent change of personal income.

Personal income growth slowed in 2008 in most of the nation's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to estimates released today by the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income growth slowed in 322 MSAs, increased in 42, and remained unchanged in 2 MSAs. On average, MSA personal income grew 3.3 percent in 2008, down from 6.0 percent in 2007. Advance metropolitan area income estimates for 2008 are available interactively on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov/regional/reis/ and select table AMSA. (More)

Commerce Attends AGOA Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

8th AGOA Forum Logo. Click to visit AGOA Forum Web site.

The eighth AGOA Forum (African Growth and Opportunity Act) will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, August 4-6, 2009. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Realizing the Full Potential of AGOA through Expansion of Trade and Investment.” The Forum will focus on a number of crucial trade and economic issues, including but not limited to how countries can take full advantage of the range of export opportunities that AGOA offers. The Act, signed in 2000, offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. (AGOA Web site) (U.S.-African Trade Profile)