Treasury Won't Need More Bailout Money For BanksThere is no need for the Treasury Department to ask Congress for more money to help banks, says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The Treasury still has about $134.6 billion available from last fall's bank bailout package, and that should be enough for it to avoid asking Congress for more money.
In a letter to the Congressional oversight panel overseeing the bailout, Geithner says there is about $109.6 billion available from the $700 billion rescue package passed last fall, and he says the Treasury expects to get at least an additional $25 billion back, bringing the total to $134.6 billion.
National Business Survey Shows Recession Slowing
A key survey of national leading businesses shows the country's economy remains weak, but finds that economic conditions declined at a slower pace.
The National Association of Business Economics' April industry survey is based on data from 109 business and industry groups from the first quarter of 2009.
Some of the upbeat findings of the survey: less severe declines in industry demand and capital spending. The number of businesses reporting rising demand for their products increased to 27 percent in the first quarter from 20 percent in January.
The number of firms that increased capital spending last quarter rose to 15 percent from 12 percent. Looking ahead, 6 percent of firms expected to raise capital spending by more than 10 percent over the next 12 months. In January, no companies reported such plans.
As the pace of the recession may be moderating, businesses continue to grow more pessimistic about the overall economic outlook. The majority (93 percent) of respondents say they expect the nation's gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of economic activity -- to decline this year. More than half of them see it dropping 2 percent or more.
Employment remained depressed in the first quarter. The survey found that 39 percent of firms cut payrolls, while only 14 percent added workers. But the outlook for jobs in the near future is slightly better: 33 percent of companies plan to reduce payrolls over the next six months, while 16 percent plan to increase employment.
For those who are employed, income levels were dismal in the first quarter. For the first time in the history of the survey more firms were reducing wages and salaries than were raising pay.