Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.

Horsley spent a decade on the White House beat, covering both the Trump and Obama administrations. Before that, he was a San Diego-based business reporter for NPR, covering fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He also reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley worked for NPR Member stations in San Diego and Tampa, as well as commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

NOEL KING, HOST:

There are some fresh signs that the U.S. economy is slowing in the monthly jobs report out this morning from the Labor Department. Employers added only 130,000 jobs in August. Now, that's less than forecasters had expected, and it's a sharp slowdown from where we were this time last year. NPR's Scott Horsley is with me now in studio.

Hey, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Noel.

KING: So this report comes at the end of a week where there were some mixed signals about the economy. What do we think it's telling us?

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department, signaling a slowdown in the pace of job growth.

Forecasters surveyed by the Reuters news service had predicted job gains of around 158,000.

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

The jobs total would have been lower without the addition of 25,000 temporary census jobs. Job gains for the two previous months were revised downward by a total of 20,000.

A lot of American companies that make or buy products in China are starting to rethink that, as a new round of tariffs takes effect this weekend. But Robert D'Loren doesn't have to worry. As CEO of the Xcel Brands clothing company, he began moving production out of China some time ago.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The Trump administration struck a tentative deal to lift tariffs on imported tomatoes from Mexico. But importers warn the agreement could still put protectionist roadblocks in the path of $2 billion worth of the produce.

Mexico supplies more than half the fresh tomatoes sold in the U.S., and imports have more than doubled since 2002. Florida growers, who used to dominate the market for tomatoes in the winter and spring, have long complained that Mexico unfairly subsidizes its tomato crop.

Congressional budget forecasters are predicting more red ink — nearly $1 trillion this year — as a result of the bipartisan spending agreement lawmakers struck this summer.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now says the federal deficit will hit $960 billion in fiscal 2019 and average $1.2 trillion in each of the next 10 years.

Updated at 4:26 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is acting as a cheering section for the U.S. economy. And at least on Monday, investors were cheering along. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 250 points or 1%. The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% and the Nasdaq was up 1.35%.

President Trump and his team are downplaying warnings of slower economic growth, despite signals from the bond market that a recession could be looming. At the same time, the president is also calling on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again to help boost growth.

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

Investors paused to catch their breath Thursday, one day after the stock market suffered its worst drop of the year. Market indexes closed up modestly as investors digested mixed signals about prospects for the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 100 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 rose 0.25%.

The stock market soared Tuesday on news that the Trump administration is postponing some tariffs on Chinese imports this fall, sparing popular consumer items such as cellphones and laptops until after the Christmas shopping season. It's only a partial reprieve, though. Other Chinese imports will still be hit with a 10% tariff on Sept. 1, as scheduled. The administration reportedly was guided by which products could most easily be obtained outside China. But there were still some head-scratchers on the tariff lists.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is postponing some of its new tariffs on Chinese imports — a significant retreat in the trade war that has rattled financial markets on both sides of the Pacific.

The United States has become the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas — reshaping the global energy economy from the shipping lanes of the Middle East to the factories of the Midwest.

President Trump hopes to call attention to that change on Tuesday when he tours a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania.

Federal agents carried out one of the largest immigration raids in recent history this week, arresting nearly 700 workers at chicken processing plants in Mississippi.

But you can still buy a rotisserie bird at your local supermarket tonight for less than $10.

So far, the government crackdown has had little effect on the wider food processing industry, a dangerous business that is heavily reliant on immigrant labor.

The U.S. and China opened a new front in their trade war this week, when China allowed its currency to fall, triggering a sharp drop in the U.S. stock market.

The seemingly modest adjustment in global exchange rates had a seismic effect on Wall Street confidence, rattling retirement accounts and prompting a new round of bellicose rhetoric from President Trump.

Both the market and the currency stabilized on Tuesday, but not before investors got a stomach-churning preview of what an escalating trade war might look like.

The Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator Monday, after Beijing allowed its currency to fall to an 11-year low. The tit-for-tat moves mark the latest escalation in the two countries' trade war, which triggered a sharp sell-off on Wall Street.

While President Trump has long accused China of tinkering with its currency to gain an unfair advantage on world markets, this is the first time in a quarter century the U.S. has formally accused Beijing of currency manipulation.

Higher prices will be coming to stores this fall, retailers warn, if President Trump follows through with his threat to slap new tariffs on Chinese imports.

The White House pressed the tariff threat on Friday, even as Trump announced a new agreement aimed at boosting beef exports to Europe. A day earlier, Trump threatened to set a new 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of products imported from China.

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