... * Latest China data points to slowing economy. * Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia. * Initial claims fall, retail sales tops estimate.
The U.S. government is running a deficit that is 23.6 percent lower than in the same period a year ago through the first five months of this budget year, another sign of improvement in the nation's finances.
American shoppers powered through the winter weather lifting retail sales in February. The gains were only fractional compared to January, but up 2.3% from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation.
VIENNA (Reuters) - Industrialist Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs with close links to Russia through his gas interests, has been arrested in Austria at the request of the United States.
WASHINGTON - Three nominees to Federal Reserve's board sailed through a brief confirmation hearing on Thursday, assuring senators of their commitment to strengthen financial regulation and stimulate the economy.