Economics & Economy

Rooftop solar has a good decade but a bad year

Jul 17, 2017
Dan Boyce

Solar energy has had a great decade. One estimate puts the industry’s growth at 1,600 percent over the last eight years. This year though? Not so good, especially for rooftop solar companies. The market for residential solar systems has taken a hit, with bankruptcies hitting companies from SunEdison to Sungevity to Suniva, and at least one company not starting with “sun” — SolarWorld.

Reinventing a summer classic, water balloons

Jul 17, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Emily Henderson

In our series Brought to you by, we dive into the stories behind ordinary seasonal items: that grill you fire up for the Fourth of July or the fruitcake that you dig into (or regift) over the holidays. Where did they come from, and why did they become so popular?

The worrisome news in China’s economic scorecard

Jul 17, 2017

Despite all the president’s complaints on the campaign trail about China and the unbalanced trading relationship the U.S. has with them, the Trump administration and China are scheduled to announce the details on bilateral trade talks this week.  The Chinese economy continues to grow; it's up a fresh 6.9 percent during the second quarter. But behind that growth is a sort of sluggishness – productivity is at a standstill in China. We explore why.

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The Trump Administration released its objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, our trade deal with Mexico and Canada. President Trump has called NAFTA the worst trade deal ever, citing factory jobs that moved to Mexico. The Trump Administration wants to "maintain existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural goods" and expand market opportunities for U.S. agricultural goods.  Essentially, the plan calls for keeping all the good things NAFTA brings to the agriculture sectors.

It's back-to-school season all year

Jul 17, 2017
Adrienne Hill

Back to school shopping counts for nearly half of all school-related spending in the year for families in the U.S.