It has been a good week for economic news. Here's a quick rundown of the positive signs: Home prices showed their best gains in seven years. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high. The stock market set a new record. All just this week.
"We're seeing progress," President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning, "and the economy is starting to pick up steam. The gears are starting to turn again, and we're getting some traction."
You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was leading up to a "but."
French President Francois Hollande's palace has decided to dive into its wine cellar and sell some of its treasures to raise money and replenish its collection with more modest vintages. About 1,200 bottles, a 10th of the Elysee's wine collection, are being sold at the Drouot auction house in Paris this week.
Prized Burgundies and Bordeaux once served at the presidential palace in France were sold for the first time ever as the wine cellar at Elysee Palace gets an overhaul.
Some 1,200 bottles, or 10 percent of the palace wines, went on sale this week at the famous Drouot auction house in downtown Paris. On the block were vintages from 1930 to 1990, including famous names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Montrachet.
American households lost roughly $16 trillion in net worth since the recession started in 2007. According to the latest Fed data, we regained about $14.6 trillion, or roughly 91 percent, of it. But let's not break out the champagne glasses just yet.
A new report from the St. Louis Fed shows that, after adjusting those numbers for inflation and normalizing them for population growth, we recovered less than half of what we've lost in wealth.
Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.
Credit Rich-Joseph Facun / Reuters/Landov
Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?
This week, China's biggest pork producer announced plans to buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants a national security review by an interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.
Houston, Texas provides a dramatic example that it's possible to make great strides in reducing air pollution. Our story yesterday talked about how that came about, but Houston still does not quite meet the federal smog standard. So, the question for the nation's fourth largest city is what's next. NPR's Richard Harris explores that question as part of our series Poisoned Places.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.
If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.
Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.
NPR's business news begins with Japan's wheat ban.
Japan has suspended wheat imports from the Pacific Northwest states. This comes after the U.S. Agricultural Department found genetically modified wheat growing on an Oregon farm - as we reported on this program yesterday. GMO wheat has not been approved for U.S. farming, and it's not clear how the wheat found its way onto the farm.