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, DC, with his dog, Rosie.

President Trump says the U.S. and China are close to striking a mini trade agreement. But he offered no guarantees.

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, Trump downplayed the cost of his trade war, which has hurt farm exports and contributed to a slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

"The real cost would be if we did nothing," he said.

Trump offered few clues about the status of trade talks except to say, "We're close."

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

U.S. employers added 128,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate inched up to 3.6%.

Friday's report from the Labor Department suggests job growth remains resilient, despite the ongoing trade war and temporary setbacks such as the United Auto Workers strike at General Motors, which was settled a week ago.

Job gains for August and September were also revised upward by a combined 95,000.

Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point Wednesday in an effort to support an economy that continues to tap the brakes.

In announcing the move, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell pointed to weak business investment, which has been a drag on the economy, even as consumer spending has held up relatively well.

"We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of global developments and to provide some insurance against ongoing risks," he said.

Updated at 2:22 p.m. ET

President Trump is counting on a strong economy to help him win reelection next year. But new numbers from the Commerce Department show the economy lost steam during the summer and early fall.

President Trump is renewing his push for U.S. control of Syrian oil. But experts say there's not much oil there, and what there is belongs to the Syrian government.

Still, the idea of controlling the oil fields is one that has long appealed to Trump. And it may provide a rationale for maintaining a U.S. military presence in Syria, reversing the president's promise of a full withdrawal.

New Trump administration tariffs threaten to raise prices on Italian cheeses, Spanish olive oil, and a wide range of other gourmet foods from Europe. But a Florida company has found a loophole in the new French wine tariff that's big enough to drive a truck through.

As autoworkers at General Motors plants around the country vote this week on whether to accept a new contract, workers elsewhere see an opportunity to demand their own chance in the driver's seat.

The U.S. is enjoying a record-long economic boom, but workers' slice of the pie has barely increased. After decades of relative silence, newly emboldened workers are increasingly vocal in demanding higher pay and better working conditions.

A publishing company plans to add an advisory note to future copies of a book written by White House adviser Peter Navarro, after it was revealed that Navarro fabricated one of the people he quoted.

The character Ron Vara appears in Navarro's 2011 book, Death By China, offering dire warnings about Chinese imports.

"Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel," Vara is quoted as saying.

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Updated at 5:06 PM ET

President Trump on Friday announced what he calls "phase one" of a larger trade deal with China.

As part of the deal, a tariff increase planned for next Tuesday will not be imposed. The U.S. was scheduled to raise tariffs on about $250 billion worth of goods on October 15 from 25% to 30%.

The specifics of the deal are still being hammered out, and they haven't been signed yet. President Trump said he hopes that will happen in the next month or so. The leaders of the U.S. and China are expected to meet in November.

The Trump administration has proposed a new rule governing the wages of tipped employees, after an earlier effort sparked a backlash from waitstaff, bartenders and other workers.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

U.S. employers added 136,000 jobs in September — a sign of continued resilience in the labor market amid growing signals that the economy is losing steam.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% — the lowest since December 1969 — but the pace of hiring has slowed from last year. The jobless rate was 3.7% in August.

Job gains for the two previous months were revised up by a total of 45,000.

U.S. farmers, who have been hard hit by President Trump's trade wars, got some relief Wednesday, when Trump signed an interim trade deal with Japan.

The agreement calls for lower Japanese tariffs on U.S. farm exports such as beef and pork. It also locks in tariff-free digital commerce. But it does not address the president's threat to level punishing tariffs on imported cars from Japan. A top trade negotiator says Trump has no plans to act on that threat for now.

The search for the origin of the pencils led to a dusty factory in the Philippines.

An American investigator traveled there last year, trying to find out if the factory really produced the pencils, as a U.S. importer claimed, or was simply repackaging pencils from China, as a competitor suspected. Chinese pencils have long been subject to a stiff anti-dumping tariff, which would have more than doubled the importer's cost.

The Trump administration ordered new economic sanctions against Iran Friday in response to the attack last weekend in Saudi Arabia. The sanctions target Iran's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund.

"This is very big," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "We've now cut off all sources of funds to Iran."

The move comes less than a week after an attack on a Saudi oil facility that temporarily cut off nearly 6% of the world's oil supply. While Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for that attack, the administration suspects Iran was behind it.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates Wednesday for the second time in seven weeks, in an effort to prolong the decade-old economic expansion in the face of rising headwinds.

The Fed lowered its target for the federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point, to a range of 1.75% to 2%. President Trump, who has been calling for deeper rate cuts, criticized the move as another "fail" by the Fed. Major stock indexes fell after the central bank's announcement but later recovered.

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is under the microscope again, amid fresh allegations of meddling with a government scientific agency.

The latest storm to engulf the secretary began Sept. 1, when weather forecasters in Birmingham, Ala., issued a tweet saying Hurricane Dorian posed no threat to their state.

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.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Manufacturing activity shifted into reverse in August for the first time in three years, as factory owners adjusted to the ongoing trade wars. An index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management showed a decline in nearly every measure, including new orders, production and employment.

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.

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.

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