RSSCategory: Economic Updates

Feb

15

Growth Report for Monday, February 17, 2014

FREEZING TEMPERATURES COOL RETAIL SALES While the fourth quarter saw the strongest consumer spending in 3 years, the pace of retail purchases slowed last month. The Commerce Department reported a 0.4% drop in retail sales in January, and it revised December’s gain of 0.2% to a loss of 0.1%. Severe cold, reduced hiring and the […]

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Feb

7

Growth Report for Monday, February 10, 2014

WAS IT THE WEATHER, OR THE ECONOMY? For a second straight month, hiring was weak. Employers added 113,000 jobs in January, and while the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6%, the Labor Department’s latest report came with some caution flags. Private-sector payrolls expanded by 142,000 new positions, but 29,000 federal workers were let go and […]

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Feb

3

Growth Report for Monday, February 3, 2014

CONSUMER MORALE, CONSUMER SPENDING IMPROVE On Friday, the Commerce Department announced that consumer spending rose 0.4% in December, even as consumer incomes stayed flat. The University of Michigan’s final January consumer sentiment index came in at 81.2 (up 0.8 points from December) and the Conference Board’s January consumer confidence index posted a reading of 80.7 […]

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Jan

27

Growth Report for Monday, January 27, 2014

MORE HOMES MOVE IN DECEMBER Last month saw a 1.0% gain in existing home sales, a nice change for this key economic indicator after a few subpar months. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires anticipated sales improving 0.6%. The National Association of Realtors did revise November’s sales decline to 5.9% (it had been 4.3%).1,2 GAUGE […]

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Jan

20

Growth Report for Monday, January 20, 2014

INFLATION RISES IN DECEMBER Labor Department reports showed the Consumer Price Index up 0.3% last month (with core CPI rising 0.1%) and the Producer Price Index advancing 0.4% (core PPI went north 0.3%). If these spikes foreshadow greater inflation for 2014, they do little to alter the big picture of 2013 – a year in […]

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Jan

13

Growth Report for Monday, January 13, 2014

INTERPRETING A PERPLEXING JOBS REPORT Why did the economy generate only 74,000 new jobs last month? Why did 347,000 people drop out of the job hunt to leave the labor participation rate at 62.8%, the lowest in 35 years? Was it the weather? Maybe. As a note from Capital Economics mentions, the Labor Department found […]

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Jan

5

Growth Report for Monday, January 6, 2014

A MAJOR GAIN FOR A CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX The Conference Board’s monthly gauge of consumer confidence came in at 78.1 for December, beating the 76.0 median forecast from economists polled by Bloomberg. In November, it stood at 72.0. The index is way up from where it once was: its average reading was just 53.7 during […]

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Dec

30

Growth Report for Monday, December 30, 2013

A HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON TO CELEBRATE Good news from the Commerce Department: November brought a healthy 0.5% gain in personal spending (matching the consensus forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com) and a 0.2% rise in personal income that offset the 0.1% retreat in October. SpendingPulse, which tracks online and in-store retail purchases, says that retail […]

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Dec

23

Growth Report for Monday, December 23, 2013

FED MAKES ITS MOVE, STOCKS MOVE NORTH In a 9-1 vote last Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials elected to taper the central bank’s monthly economic stimulus beginning in January. The taper was relatively minor – a cut of $10 billion to $75 billion – and the surprise announcement set off a major rally on Wall Street, […]

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Dec

16

Growth Report for Monday, December 16, 2013

“MINI-BARGAIN” PASSES HOUSE, HEADS FOR SENATE Last week, the congressional budget committee headed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) succeeded where its 2011 predecessor had failed – it reached a deal, albeit a small-scale one. The House passed its budget bill by a 332-94 vote Thursday night; the legislation heads for […]

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