Econ 101: January 3, 2012

Welcome to ThinkProgress Economy’s morning link roundup. This is what we’re reading. Have you seen any interesting news? Let us know in the comments section. You can also follow ThinkProgress Economy on Twitter.

  • Hundreds of billions of dollars are needed to shore up America’s water and sewer infrastructure, as “the vast majority of the country’s water systems are in urgent need of repair and replacement.” [Washington Post]
  • Economists don’t expect consumer spending to pick up much in 2012. [New York Times]
  • The world’s leading economies “have more than $7.6 trillion of debt maturing this year, with most facing a rise in borrowing costs.” [Bloomberg]
  • Vice President Biden will be taking the lead on the administration’s China policy. [The Atlantic]
  • Ninety-two banks failed in 2011, the fewest in three years. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The next few months could be make-or-break for Europe. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, “has appreciated 13 percent from a record low in March 2008.” [Bloomberg]
  • Global manufacturing output “was subdued going into 2012, with the euro zone’s industrial sector suffering its fifth straight month of declines in December and Asian factories mostly stuck in a rut.” [Reuters]