R. Kelly: ‘We’re Going to Straighten All This Stuff Out’ 

R. Kelly walked out of a Chicago jail on Saturday after someone who officials said did not want to be publicly identified paid $161,633 that the R&B singer owed in back child support.  

  

Kelly, who was ordered taken into custody on Wednesday by a judge after Kelly said he didn’t have the entire amount he owed, briefly spoke with reporters, telling them: “I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out.” He said that was all he could say — in stark contrast to a nationally televised broadcast that aired earlier in the week in which he cried and ranted about being “assassinated” by allegations of sexual abuse that led to criminal charges last month.  

  

Cara Smith., the chief policy officer for the Cook County sheriff’s office, which runs the jail, said a person who wished to remain anonymous handed a check on Saturday morning to the county clerk’s office for the full amount of Kelly’s back child support. A bond slip on which people putting up money to secure an inmate’s release write their names and relationship to the inmate was left blank, Smith said.  

  

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said he could not discuss the child support payment because of a judge’s gag order in that case. 

 

As is done with other high-profile inmates, Kelly, 52, was held in a solo cell under round-the-clock observation. 

Second incarceration

 

It was his second trip to jail in a matter of weeks and the second time a person had stepped up with money to get Kelly out of jail.  

  

Last month, after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse pertaining to three girls and a woman, he was taken to the same jail. Kelly, whose attorney said at the time that the singer’s finances were in disarray, then spent a weekend in jail before a 47-year-old suburban Chicago business owner posted his $100,000 bail.  

  

His attorney and publicist told a similar story this week before and after the hearing in which the judge ordered Kelly into custody, with the publicist telling reporters that Kelly was prepared to pay $50,000 to $60,000 on Wednesday but was not able to pay the entire amount.  

  

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges. He has also very publicly proclaimed his innocence, telling Gayle King in an interview that aired Wednesday on CBS This Morning that all his accusers were lying about him. He also talked about his finances, saying that people had stolen money from his bank accounts, though he offered no details. 

 

Greenberg told reporters on Saturday that Kelly’s attorneys “haven’t seen one piece of evidence.”  

  

“When we get those things, we’re going to fight this case like we fight any other case — in the courtroom, based on the evidence,” he said.

From: MeNeedIt

R. Kelly: ‘We’re Going to Straighten All This Stuff Out’ 

R. Kelly walked out of a Chicago jail on Saturday after someone who officials said did not want to be publicly identified paid $161,633 that the R&B singer owed in back child support.  

  

Kelly, who was ordered taken into custody on Wednesday by a judge after Kelly said he didn’t have the entire amount he owed, briefly spoke with reporters, telling them: “I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out.” He said that was all he could say — in stark contrast to a nationally televised broadcast that aired earlier in the week in which he cried and ranted about being “assassinated” by allegations of sexual abuse that led to criminal charges last month.  

  

Cara Smith., the chief policy officer for the Cook County sheriff’s office, which runs the jail, said a person who wished to remain anonymous handed a check on Saturday morning to the county clerk’s office for the full amount of Kelly’s back child support. A bond slip on which people putting up money to secure an inmate’s release write their names and relationship to the inmate was left blank, Smith said.  

  

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said he could not discuss the child support payment because of a judge’s gag order in that case. 

 

As is done with other high-profile inmates, Kelly, 52, was held in a solo cell under round-the-clock observation. 

Second incarceration

 

It was his second trip to jail in a matter of weeks and the second time a person had stepped up with money to get Kelly out of jail.  

  

Last month, after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse pertaining to three girls and a woman, he was taken to the same jail. Kelly, whose attorney said at the time that the singer’s finances were in disarray, then spent a weekend in jail before a 47-year-old suburban Chicago business owner posted his $100,000 bail.  

  

His attorney and publicist told a similar story this week before and after the hearing in which the judge ordered Kelly into custody, with the publicist telling reporters that Kelly was prepared to pay $50,000 to $60,000 on Wednesday but was not able to pay the entire amount.  

  

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges. He has also very publicly proclaimed his innocence, telling Gayle King in an interview that aired Wednesday on CBS This Morning that all his accusers were lying about him. He also talked about his finances, saying that people had stolen money from his bank accounts, though he offered no details. 

 

Greenberg told reporters on Saturday that Kelly’s attorneys “haven’t seen one piece of evidence.”  

  

“When we get those things, we’re going to fight this case like we fight any other case — in the courtroom, based on the evidence,” he said.

From: MeNeedIt

NCAA Loses Federal Antitrust Case, Can Still Claim Win

The NCAA was able to claim victory Friday night after a judge ruled against the governing body for college sports in a federal antitrust lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, said college football and men’s basketball players competing at the NCAA’s highest level should be permitted to receive compensation from schools beyond the current athletic scholarship, but only if the benefits are tied to education.

The NCAA cannot “limit compensation or benefits related to education,” Wilken wrote. That opens the door to athletes receiving more scholarship money to pursue postgraduate degrees, finish undergraduate degrees or study abroad. The NCAA could not, under injunction, limit schools if they choose to provide athletes items that could be considered school supplies such as computers, science equipment or, musical instruments.

“Technically the plaintiffs won the case and the NCAA will not be happy that they were found to be in violation of antitrust law, but ultimately this allows the NCAA to keep the bulk of their amateurism rules in place,” said Gabe Feldman director of the Tulane University sports law program.

Alston cases seeking more

The plaintiffs in the so-called Alston cases were seeking much more.

Plaintiffs had asked the judge to lift all NCAA caps on compensation and strike down all rules prohibiting schools from giving athletes in high-profile, revenue-generating sports more financial incentives for playing sports. The goal was to create a free market, where conferences set rules for compensating athletes, but this ruling still allows the NCAA to prohibit cash compensation untethered to education-related expenses.

The claim against the NCAA and the 11 conferences that have participated in the Football Bowl Subdivision was originally brought by former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston. It was later merged with similar lawsuits, including a notable case brought by former Clemson football player Martin Jenkins.

Plaintiffs argued the NCAA illegally restricts schools from compensating football and men’s and women’s basketball players beyond what is traditionally covered by a scholarship. That includes tuition, room and board and books, plus a cost of attendance stipend to cover incidentals such as travel.

Plaintiffs touted the ruling as “monumental.”

“We have proven to the court that the NCAA’s weak justifications for this unfair system are based on a self-serving mythology that does not match the facts,” said Steve Berman, the Seattle-based lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “Today’s ruling will change college sports as we know it, forever.”

Feldman, though, said: “The remedy is relatively narrow and this is certainly not the sea change that the plaintiffs were looking for in college sports.”

Pay for play

The NCAA argued altering amateurism rules would lead to pay-for-play, fundamentally damaging college sports and harming academic integration of athletes.

“The court’s decision recognizes that college sports should be played by student-athletes, not by paid professionals,” NCAA chief legal counsel Donald Remy said in a statement. “The decision acknowledges that the popularity of college sports stems in part from the fact that these athletes are indeed students, who must not be paid unlimited cash sums unrelated to education. NCAA rules actively provide a pathway for tens of thousands of student-athletes each year to receive a college education debt-free.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already said it expects to take the case after Wilken’s ruling. It is possible the ruling will be stayed until the 9th Circuit rules. The case might not stop there, and could end up in front of the Supreme Court.

Wilken is the same judge who ruled on the so-called O’Bannon case, which challenged the NCAA’s right to use athletes’ names, images and likenesses without compensation. The case also produced a mixed ruling that eventually went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wilken ruled schools should be permitted, but not required, to compensate athletes for use of their name, image and likeness, with payments capped at $5,000 per year. The appeals court overturned that and said payments “untethered” to education were not required by schools.”

Wilken also ruled the NCAA was required to allow schools to factor in their federally determined cost of attendance into the value of an athletic scholarship. That is now common practice in major college sports, though schools were already moving toward NCAA legislation allowing for cost of attendance when Wilken made her ruling.

The plaintiffs argued in the Alston case that implementation of cost-of-attendance stipends prove paying athletes even more would not hurt college sports.

From: MeNeedIt

NCAA Loses Federal Antitrust Case, Can Still Claim Win

The NCAA was able to claim victory Friday night after a judge ruled against the governing body for college sports in a federal antitrust lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, said college football and men’s basketball players competing at the NCAA’s highest level should be permitted to receive compensation from schools beyond the current athletic scholarship, but only if the benefits are tied to education.

The NCAA cannot “limit compensation or benefits related to education,” Wilken wrote. That opens the door to athletes receiving more scholarship money to pursue postgraduate degrees, finish undergraduate degrees or study abroad. The NCAA could not, under injunction, limit schools if they choose to provide athletes items that could be considered school supplies such as computers, science equipment or, musical instruments.

“Technically the plaintiffs won the case and the NCAA will not be happy that they were found to be in violation of antitrust law, but ultimately this allows the NCAA to keep the bulk of their amateurism rules in place,” said Gabe Feldman director of the Tulane University sports law program.

Alston cases seeking more

The plaintiffs in the so-called Alston cases were seeking much more.

Plaintiffs had asked the judge to lift all NCAA caps on compensation and strike down all rules prohibiting schools from giving athletes in high-profile, revenue-generating sports more financial incentives for playing sports. The goal was to create a free market, where conferences set rules for compensating athletes, but this ruling still allows the NCAA to prohibit cash compensation untethered to education-related expenses.

The claim against the NCAA and the 11 conferences that have participated in the Football Bowl Subdivision was originally brought by former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston. It was later merged with similar lawsuits, including a notable case brought by former Clemson football player Martin Jenkins.

Plaintiffs argued the NCAA illegally restricts schools from compensating football and men’s and women’s basketball players beyond what is traditionally covered by a scholarship. That includes tuition, room and board and books, plus a cost of attendance stipend to cover incidentals such as travel.

Plaintiffs touted the ruling as “monumental.”

“We have proven to the court that the NCAA’s weak justifications for this unfair system are based on a self-serving mythology that does not match the facts,” said Steve Berman, the Seattle-based lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “Today’s ruling will change college sports as we know it, forever.”

Feldman, though, said: “The remedy is relatively narrow and this is certainly not the sea change that the plaintiffs were looking for in college sports.”

Pay for play

The NCAA argued altering amateurism rules would lead to pay-for-play, fundamentally damaging college sports and harming academic integration of athletes.

“The court’s decision recognizes that college sports should be played by student-athletes, not by paid professionals,” NCAA chief legal counsel Donald Remy said in a statement. “The decision acknowledges that the popularity of college sports stems in part from the fact that these athletes are indeed students, who must not be paid unlimited cash sums unrelated to education. NCAA rules actively provide a pathway for tens of thousands of student-athletes each year to receive a college education debt-free.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already said it expects to take the case after Wilken’s ruling. It is possible the ruling will be stayed until the 9th Circuit rules. The case might not stop there, and could end up in front of the Supreme Court.

Wilken is the same judge who ruled on the so-called O’Bannon case, which challenged the NCAA’s right to use athletes’ names, images and likenesses without compensation. The case also produced a mixed ruling that eventually went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wilken ruled schools should be permitted, but not required, to compensate athletes for use of their name, image and likeness, with payments capped at $5,000 per year. The appeals court overturned that and said payments “untethered” to education were not required by schools.”

Wilken also ruled the NCAA was required to allow schools to factor in their federally determined cost of attendance into the value of an athletic scholarship. That is now common practice in major college sports, though schools were already moving toward NCAA legislation allowing for cost of attendance when Wilken made her ruling.

The plaintiffs argued in the Alston case that implementation of cost-of-attendance stipends prove paying athletes even more would not hurt college sports.

From: MeNeedIt

HPV Strikes Men as Well as Women

The HPV virus is so common that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives, unless they are protected by vaccination. The HPV virus can lead to cancer in both men and women. That’s why it’s so important for parents to get their children vaccinated against this virus. More from VOA’s Carol Pearson.

From: MeNeedIt

Powell: Fed Sticks With ‘Wait-and-See’ Approach on Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that the healthy U.S. economy and low inflation are allowing the central bank to take a “patient, wait-and-see approach” on interest rates.

Speaking at Stanford University, Powell said the Fed is well along in its effort to normalize Fed operations by scaling back the extraordinary efforts it employed to support the economy’s recovery from the Great Recession.

The Fed is trimming its sizable holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Officials are discussing a plan for wrapping up the efforts to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet later this year, Powell said, adding that the plan’s details should be announced soon.

The Fed’s moves to reduce its balance sheet, which hit a peak of $4.5 trillion, are being watched closely by investors.

Slimming its balance sheet

The Fed started in October 2017 reducing the balance sheet by allowing some bonds to run off as they matured. The balance sheet is now around $4 trillion but some investors have worried that the Fed could end up driving long-term interest rates higher and harming the economy by going too far in reducing its holdings.

Some analysts have projected the Fed’s balance sheet will end up being around $3.5 trillion, which would be significantly higher than the less than $1 trillion it held before the financial crisis hit in 2008.

Powell said the size of the holdings will “prove ample” to meet the Fed’s needs of supplying reserves to the banking system and he said “we could be near that level later this year.”

“As we feel our way cautiously to this goal, we will move transparently and predictably in order to minimize needless market disruption,” Powell said.

Updating procedures

The Fed is conducting a yearlong review of its procedures as part of its effort to update its operations in areas such as the way it communicates with the public, Powell said.

One area being examined is whether the Fed should consider altering its inflation target, which is currently a goal of annual price increases of 2 percent, to allow inflation to go above that goal for a time.

Powell did not specifically discuss the course of rate hikes other than to repeat the “patient” pledge the Fed began using in January to signal that it was planning a prolonged pause in hiking rates this year after boosting them four times in 2018.

Some analysts believe the Fed could leave its policy rate unchanged for the entire year and could possibly start cutting rates in 2020 if the economy slows significantly as the effects of the Trump administration tax cuts and a boost in government spending fade.

The rate hikes last year prompted strong criticism from President Donald Trump who charged that the rate increases were driving down the stock market.

In his remarks, Powell said, “We live in a time of intense scrutiny and declining trust in public institutions around the world. At the Fed, we are committed to working hard to build and sustain the public’s trust.”

From: MeNeedIt

Powell: Fed Sticks With ‘Wait-and-See’ Approach on Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that the healthy U.S. economy and low inflation are allowing the central bank to take a “patient, wait-and-see approach” on interest rates.

Speaking at Stanford University, Powell said the Fed is well along in its effort to normalize Fed operations by scaling back the extraordinary efforts it employed to support the economy’s recovery from the Great Recession.

The Fed is trimming its sizable holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Officials are discussing a plan for wrapping up the efforts to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet later this year, Powell said, adding that the plan’s details should be announced soon.

The Fed’s moves to reduce its balance sheet, which hit a peak of $4.5 trillion, are being watched closely by investors.

Slimming its balance sheet

The Fed started in October 2017 reducing the balance sheet by allowing some bonds to run off as they matured. The balance sheet is now around $4 trillion but some investors have worried that the Fed could end up driving long-term interest rates higher and harming the economy by going too far in reducing its holdings.

Some analysts have projected the Fed’s balance sheet will end up being around $3.5 trillion, which would be significantly higher than the less than $1 trillion it held before the financial crisis hit in 2008.

Powell said the size of the holdings will “prove ample” to meet the Fed’s needs of supplying reserves to the banking system and he said “we could be near that level later this year.”

“As we feel our way cautiously to this goal, we will move transparently and predictably in order to minimize needless market disruption,” Powell said.

Updating procedures

The Fed is conducting a yearlong review of its procedures as part of its effort to update its operations in areas such as the way it communicates with the public, Powell said.

One area being examined is whether the Fed should consider altering its inflation target, which is currently a goal of annual price increases of 2 percent, to allow inflation to go above that goal for a time.

Powell did not specifically discuss the course of rate hikes other than to repeat the “patient” pledge the Fed began using in January to signal that it was planning a prolonged pause in hiking rates this year after boosting them four times in 2018.

Some analysts believe the Fed could leave its policy rate unchanged for the entire year and could possibly start cutting rates in 2020 if the economy slows significantly as the effects of the Trump administration tax cuts and a boost in government spending fade.

The rate hikes last year prompted strong criticism from President Donald Trump who charged that the rate increases were driving down the stock market.

In his remarks, Powell said, “We live in a time of intense scrutiny and declining trust in public institutions around the world. At the Fed, we are committed to working hard to build and sustain the public’s trust.”

From: MeNeedIt

HPV Hits Men as Well as Women

The HPV virus is so common that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives, unless they are protected by vaccination.

The HPV virus can lead to cancer in both men and women. That’s why those who have gotten cancer caused by HPV are trying to get the word out to parents to get their children vaccinated. 

“Anytime you can fish is a good time,” Ward said.

Fishing is Scott Ward’s way of relaxing. He didn’t have any risk factors that he knew of for cancer so he ignored the lump on his neck until he couldn’t ignore it anymore. 

Dr. Donald Doll, an oncologist at the University of Missouri Cancer Center, treated Ward for his cancer.

“We’re seeing more and more younger and healthier patients,” Doll said. “They’re not smokers or drinkers. It’s HPV-related.” 

Smoking and drinking can cause oral cancers. But Ward’s cancer was caused by HPV, the human papilloma virus.

“Normally, you think HPV, you think of women — cervical cancer,” Doll said.

HPV does cause cervical cancer, but Doll says it’s a misconception that only women have to be concerned with cancers caused by this virus. 

“The big ones are cervical cancer and the oropharyngeal cancer,” Doll said. 

Oropharyngeal (auro-fah-RINGE-ee-ul) cancers affect the head and neck, including tonsils. Ward’s cancer started in a tonsil. HPV can also lead to anal cancer in both sexes and penile cancer in men.  

But there’s a vaccine that’s been around for more than a decade that can protect against the HPV virus. If all boys and girls received it, no one would get HPV-related cancers.

The HPV vaccine is best when given to children between 9 and 12 years old, before they are sexually active. But teenagers and young adults can still benefit from the  vaccine.

Not everyone who gets the HPV virus develops cancer. But it is a risk factor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 70 percent of cases of head and neck cancers are caused by HPV. The agency says about 14 million people in the U.S. alone become infected with HPV each year. Yet, about half of all U.S. adolescents have not been vaccinated, which requires a series of three shots.  

The CDC says the side effects are generally short term and not serious. They can include dizziness, headache, nausea, fever, and pain and swelling in the arm where the shot was given. 

Ward’s recovery was difficult. He had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But he’s now cancer-free.

“It’s a journey. I made it through,” Ward said.

Ward wishes the HPV vaccine existed when he was a teen. He says if he had kids, he would get them vaccinated.

“I tell people that do have kids …  it’s a prevention. Get it.”

Head and neck cancers are the sixth most common cancers worldwide. The HPV virus also causes half a million cases of cervical cancer each year. 

From: MeNeedIt

HPV Hits Men as Well as Women

The HPV virus is so common that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives, unless they are protected by vaccination.

The HPV virus can lead to cancer in both men and women. That’s why those who have gotten cancer caused by HPV are trying to get the word out to parents to get their children vaccinated. 

“Anytime you can fish is a good time,” Ward said.

Fishing is Scott Ward’s way of relaxing. He didn’t have any risk factors that he knew of for cancer so he ignored the lump on his neck until he couldn’t ignore it anymore. 

Dr. Donald Doll, an oncologist at the University of Missouri Cancer Center, treated Ward for his cancer.

“We’re seeing more and more younger and healthier patients,” Doll said. “They’re not smokers or drinkers. It’s HPV-related.” 

Smoking and drinking can cause oral cancers. But Ward’s cancer was caused by HPV, the human papilloma virus.

“Normally, you think HPV, you think of women — cervical cancer,” Doll said.

HPV does cause cervical cancer, but Doll says it’s a misconception that only women have to be concerned with cancers caused by this virus. 

“The big ones are cervical cancer and the oropharyngeal cancer,” Doll said. 

Oropharyngeal (auro-fah-RINGE-ee-ul) cancers affect the head and neck, including tonsils. Ward’s cancer started in a tonsil. HPV can also lead to anal cancer in both sexes and penile cancer in men.  

But there’s a vaccine that’s been around for more than a decade that can protect against the HPV virus. If all boys and girls received it, no one would get HPV-related cancers.

The HPV vaccine is best when given to children between 9 and 12 years old, before they are sexually active. But teenagers and young adults can still benefit from the  vaccine.

Not everyone who gets the HPV virus develops cancer. But it is a risk factor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 70 percent of cases of head and neck cancers are caused by HPV. The agency says about 14 million people in the U.S. alone become infected with HPV each year. Yet, about half of all U.S. adolescents have not been vaccinated, which requires a series of three shots.  

The CDC says the side effects are generally short term and not serious. They can include dizziness, headache, nausea, fever, and pain and swelling in the arm where the shot was given. 

Ward’s recovery was difficult. He had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But he’s now cancer-free.

“It’s a journey. I made it through,” Ward said.

Ward wishes the HPV vaccine existed when he was a teen. He says if he had kids, he would get them vaccinated.

“I tell people that do have kids …  it’s a prevention. Get it.”

Head and neck cancers are the sixth most common cancers worldwide. The HPV virus also causes half a million cases of cervical cancer each year. 

From: MeNeedIt

US Adds Just 20K Jobs; Unemployment Dips

Hiring tumbled in February, with U.S. employers adding just 20,000 jobs, the smallest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half. The slowdown in hiring, though, might have been depressed by harsh winter weather and the partial shutdown of the government.

Last month’s weak gain came after employers had added a blockbuster 311,000 jobs in January, the most in nearly a year. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged a solid 186,000, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

 

And despite the tepid pace of hiring in February, the government’s monthly jobs report Friday included some positive signs: Average hourly pay last month rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier _ the sharpest year-over-year increase in a decade. The unemployment rate also fell to 3.8 percent, near the lowest level in five decades, from 4 percent in January.

 

Unseasonably cold weather, which affects such industries as construction and restaurants, afflicted some areas of the country in February. And the 35-day government shutdown that ended in late January likely affected the calculation of job growth.

 

Still, the hiring pullback comes amid signs that growth is slowing because of a weaker global economy, a trade war between the United States and China and signs of caution among consumers. Those factors have led many economists to forecast weaker growth in the first three months of this year.

 

Sluggish hiring and job cuts in February were widespread across industries. Construction cut 31,000 jobs, the most in more than five years. Manufacturing added just 4,000 jobs. Retailers cut 6,100. Job growth in a category that includes mostly restaurants and hotels were unchanged last month after adding a huge 89,000 gain in January.

 

Most analysts expect businesses to keep hiring and growth to rebound in the April-June quarter. It will be harder than usual, though, to get a precise read on the economy because many data reports are still delayed by the partial shutdown of the government.

 

In the meantime, there are cautionary signs. Consumer confidence fell sharply in January, held back by the shutdown and by a steep fall in stock prices in December. And Americans spent less over the winter holidays, with consumer spending falling in December by the most in five years.

 

Home sales fell last year and price gains are slowing after the average rate on a 30-year mortgage reached nearly 5 percent last year. Sales of new homes also cratered late last year before picking up in December. And U.S. businesses have cut their orders for equipment and machinery for the past two months, a sign that they are uncertain about their customer demand.

 

The economy is forecast to be slowing to an annual growth rate of just 1 percent in the first three months of this year, down from 2.6 percent in the October-December quarter. Growth reached nearly 3 percent for all of last year, the strongest pace since 2015.

 

Still, economists expect a rebound in the April-June quarter, and there are already signs of one: Consumer confidence rose in February along with the stock market.

 

And more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in January, propelled by lower mortgage rates. Analysts have forecast that annual growth will top 2 percent next quarter.

 

 

From: MeNeedIt