Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

The sequel to the animated superhero film "The Incredibles" opens in movie theaters across the country today. The original film came out in 2004, grossing $633 million worldwide. So with those kind of numbers, why did it take 14 years to make a sequel?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Negotiation in global politics have dominated the headlines recently, between North Korea and U.S. relations, international trade dealings and the G-7 summit.

How to be a composer

Jun 15, 2018

Everyone has a dream job growing up: doctor, vet, ice cream taste tester. But how do you actually get the gig? Marketplace Weekend is looking into how, with the occasional series, How to Be a ...

Seattle fought Amazon ... and Amazon won

Jun 15, 2018

This week, the Seattle City Council voted to undo a new tax that would have made big businesses pay per employee to generate money for public housing and help for the homeless. Seattle's housing costs and homeless population have both exploded in recent years as the tech industry — mainly Amazon — has brought higher salaries and lots more jobs. But Seattle businesses, including Amazon, pushed back hard on the new tax. One month after it passed, the city council flipped the reset button.

Following the money in soccer's biggest scandal

Jun 15, 2018

The World Cup began on Thursday. It is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. It's also a multibillion-dollar business with TV distribution deals, sponsorships — and corruption. Lots of corruption. The story of FIFA, the international soccer governing body, is also a story of bribery, international intrigue, a former spy who compiled a dossier on President Donald Trump and a guy who walked around with a parrot on his shoulder. All of this is real.

What is the future like for hog farmers in this country?

Jun 15, 2018

A little more than two months ago, the Chinese government imposed tariffs on a list of American products in return for the Trump administration's taxes on Chinese steel and aluminum. Beijing went after products like pecans, apples and pork. Back then, we called Brian Duncan, a hog farmer and the vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, to see how that would affect his business.

Since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in September 2017, thousands of people have fled the island to come to the mainland. Many of them — some 1,600 families — have been staying at hotels paid for by the Transitional Shelter Assistance program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But the program will expire at the end of June. In Florida, about 600 families are in the program.

Why a trucker shortage really, really matters

Jun 15, 2018

The U.S. is facing a national trucker shortage. With the economy in an upswing, there’s more of a demand for goods than there are people to transport them. As carriers try to attract drivers with perks and pay raises, companies that rely on shipping say an unexpected rise in shipping costs has forced them to raise prices for consumers. Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O’Leary spoke about the dilemma with truck driver John Lex and with Avery Vise, vice president of trucking research at FTR Transportation Intelligence. 

U.S. tariffs announced today will affect more than 800 products from China, everything from aircraft tires and boat motors to cranes and bulldozers. Government officials say they'll give U.S. companies the chance to request that certain products they import from China be excluded from the tariffs. Already, thousands of companies have filed applications with the Commerce Department to be excused from steel and aluminum tariffs announced earlier this year.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Are we talking about trade again?

Jun 15, 2018

Is the sky blue? Kai catches us up on our current trade relationship with China and all the events that got us here. We follow that up with the Weekly Wrap. This time we're joined by Rachel Abrams from the New York Times and Dion Rabouin from Yahoo Finance. And in non-trade news: We talk to director Hiro Murai. You probably know him from his collaborations with Donald Glover on FX’s “Atlanta” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” (06/15/18)

Truckers, negotiators and powerful soccer moguls

Jun 15, 2018

Did you know there's a shortage of truck drivers? What that means for them and for the prices of products we buy. Plus, after a week of negotiations between world leaders, we take a dive into what it takes to be good at diplomacy. Then, futboool!!! The World Cup just started. It's arguably the biggest sporting event in the world — and a multibillion-dollar business that's rife with corruption. How U.S. prosecutors finally caught corrupt FIFA leaders, and what it means for the future of the sport. (06/15/2018)

Should newlyweds combine bank accounts?

Jun 15, 2018

It's wedding season, and while personal finance isn't the most romantic thing, it's important to talk about this time of year.

To get some tips on nuptials and money, we spoke with Beth Kobliner, a personal finance writer and author of the book "Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties." This transcript has condensed and edited for clarity.

If you've heard of Donald Glover, the multihyphenate actor-comedian-producer-writer-musician who also goes by the stage name Childish Gambino, then you're also familiar with the work of filmmaker Hiro Murai. They've collaborated on numerous projects over the last five years starring Glover, including creating the FX show "Atlanta" and the music video for "This Is America." 

China’s government responded quickly to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods by announcing Friday it will immediately impose penalties of “equal strength” on U.S. products.

The Commerce Ministry said it also was scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports as part of efforts to defuse a sprawling dispute over its trade surplus and technology policy.

America's 1998 World Cup disaster

Jun 15, 2018

(U.S. Edition) That's soccer, if you were wondering which one. But first: China is threatening quick retaliation against U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods. Our Shanghai correspondent will bring us the latest before we shift our focus up north, our relationship with Canadian agriculture. Plus: History seems to be repeating itself for the American soccer team in this year's World Cup.

TGIF

Jun 15, 2018

(Markets edition) It's been a watershed week for people trying to figure out where to put their money. Big central bank meetings, an IMF report on U.S. fiscal policy and now President Trump is green-lighting $50 billion in tariffs against China, which has promised to retaliate. We'll check in on markets and talk about where things stand. Then, it's wedding season and we're wondering: Should newlyweds combine their bank accounts? Today's podcast is sponsored by Indeed. (06/15/2018) 

After the 1994 World Cup, being a soccer player in the U.S. became recognized as a real profession.

The U.S. team had a respectable finish that year, making it to the knockout stage of the tournament despite its defeat by Brazil on the Fourth of July. 

The International Monetary Fund warned this week U.S. tariffs could dent global growth, but according to reports, President Trump is preparing to unveil $50 billion worth of new tariffs on another batch of Chinese imports. If you’ve lost track of what’s covered and what’s not, we’ll take a step back and bring you up to speed. Then, China’s ride-hailing app Didi is the world’s most valuable startup, and it’s now expanding into Melbourne, Australia. Plus, the world’s most expensive movie poster ever sold fetched half a million dollars at auction, but what makes a poster so valuable?

Seattle fought Amazon ... and Amazon won

Jun 15, 2018

The Seattle City Council voted this week to undo a new tax that would have made big businesses pay per employee to generate money for public housing and help for the homeless. Seattle's housing costs and homeless population have both exploded in recent years as the tech industry, mainly Amazon, has brought higher salaries and lots more jobs. But Seattle businesses, including Amazon, pushed back hard on the new tax. One month after it passed, the city council flipped the reset button.

Gas prices are on the rise just in time for summer travel. But will that give drivers second thoughts about hitting the road during the summer vacation season?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

In order to afford a modest one-bedroom rental, an American would, on average, have to make $17.90 an hour. This is according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. There’s just one problem — $17.90 is far above the federal minimum wage. It means there are a lot of people who can’t really afford their rent. The question is, what other essentials are they giving up?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

New numbers out Thursday show that Americans spent a lot of their paychecks on retail last month. U.S. retail sales were strong in May, rising about eight-tenths of a percent from a month earlier.  That may sound small, but it’s the biggest one-month jump since last November. Among the merchants that got a lot of love are those that sell building materials.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

ECB to end stimulus. Is Europe's economy out of the woods?

Jun 14, 2018

The European Central Bank announced today it is doing something the Federal Reserve has been doing for several years now: It's taking its foot off the gas pedal of the economy — in this case, the eurozone economy. Specifically, it's ending its practice of buying up bonds. So is the eurozone back on track?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

In the potential tariff war between China and the United States, each state is choosing to protect different sectors. Which is right? And is there a way for a country to engage in “good” protectionism for its own interests?

First off, economists in general agree that tariffs should be avoided because they bring costly trade-offs. If a country taxes imported sneakers, for instance, it helps domestic shoemakers but deprives shoe buyers of the best, low-price kicks.

Sedans; we write songs about them, from the 1964 Impala to a little deuce coupe (OK, that’s a two-door but you get the drift). But it seems we’re changing our tune.

In the 10 years that real estate agent and part-time basketball coach Laura Krier has lived in Concordia, Kansas, she has seen the small rural city of 5,000 residents get progressively smaller. Without some kind of economic development, she fears things will only get worse.

“I just want to see it grow,” Krier said. “I want my kids to want to come back home.”

That’s why, when a deal to build a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Tonganoxie, Kansas, collapsed, she fully supported her city’s efforts to lure the plant to Concordia.

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation

Jun 14, 2018

President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation served as a personal piggy bank for his businesses, legal bills and presidential campaign, New York’s attorney general said Wednesday as she sued the charity, Trump and three of his children.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation “was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Democratic Attorney General Barbara Underwood said as she sued to dissolve the foundation and seek $2.8 million in restitution.

The Fed is getting interest rates closer to "just right"

Jun 14, 2018

What's the "perfect" U.S. economy?

Jun 14, 2018

(Markets Edition) The perfect U.S. and EU economies are growing in tandem, but America is a bit further along. The European central bank is backing off its stimulus program, while Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell says the American economy nearing a Goldilocks-esque "just right" level where the bank can stop tinkering. But what's that actually look like? Surely, wages would have to come up, right? Then: A new study says you'd need to make $17.90 an hour to afford a modest one bedroom rental in the U.S. Trouble is, the minimum wage in most of the country is much lower.

Pages