Scott Horsley

Last year saw the fastest economic growth since Ronald Reagan was president. But for many people, 2021 felt less like "Morning in America" and more like a restless night, dogged by fitful dreams about the ongoing pandemic.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the nation's gross domestic product grew 5.7% last year — the biggest increase since 1984. But the growth arrived in fits and starts, with hopes for a steady recovery repeatedly dashed by successive waves of infection.

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Updated January 26, 2022 at 6:49 PM ET

Faced with mounting pressure from rapidly rising consumer prices, the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates sooner — and perhaps more aggressively — than had been expected just a few months ago.

At the conclusion of a two-day meeting Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that he and his colleagues are likely to begin raising rates in March.

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Updated January 12, 2022 at 8:37 AM ET

The latest inflation report shows what most Americans already know: Prices are still climbing rapidly.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that consumer prices in December were up 7% from a year ago — the biggest hit to family pocketbooks in about 40 years.

Hiring slowed again last month as employers continued to struggle to find workers in an economy now confronting the full impact of the omicron variant.

U.S. employers added just 199,000 workers to payrolls in December, according to data from the Labor Department Friday. That was well below expectations of around 400,000 jobs created, marking a second consecutive month of disappointing employment growth.

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Updated December 15, 2021 at 5:33 PM ET

The Federal Reserve is paving the way for possible interest rate hikes next year, in an effort to contain stubbornly high inflation.

At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank announced plans to phase out its large-scale bond-buying program faster than initially planned. The Fed started purchasing bonds during the pandemic as a way to keep borrowing costs across the economy low and to prevent any market disruptions.

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Updated December 10, 2021 at 5:28 PM ET

If you think your grocery bill has gone through the roof this year, you can appreciate what's happened to Cameron Mitchell.

Mitchell's shopping for about 60 restaurants he runs in cities across the country — from high-end steakhouses to Molly Woo's Asian Bistro and El Segundo Mexican Kitchen.

Mitchell says his cost for ingredients has soared by about $9 million. As a result, he has been forced to raise menu prices three times this year.

Updated December 3, 2021 at 12:02 PM ET

Hiring slowed dramatically last month as COVID-19 cases rose, even before the arrival of a new and and even more worrisome coronavirus variant, which could put another speed bump on the road to labor market recovery.

Updated November 30, 2021 at 4:08 PM ET

Stocks took a big tumble on Tuesday as investors weighed the potential economic fallout from the new omicron coronavirus variant.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 652 points.

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President Biden has tapped Jerome Powell to serve a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fed governor Lael Brainard will serve as vice chairman.