RSSCategory: Economic Updates

May

19

Growth Report for Monday, May 19, 2014

IS THE PRODUCER PRICE INDEX SENDING A MESSAGE? Wholesale prices climbed 0.6% in April according to Labor Department data. That tripled the increase projected by economists polled by MarketWatch, and it took the annual advance in the PPI to 2.1%, a two-year peak. The PPI also pushed north 0.5% in March, so higher consumer prices […]

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May

12

Growth Report for Monday, May 12, 2014

ISM: SERVICE SECTOR VERY HEALTHY At 55.2, the Institute for Supply Management’s April non-manufacturing PMI climbed 2.1 points above the March reading. The nation’s service sector expanded for a 51st straight month, and the survey saw big monthly leaps in its new orders index (up 4.8 points to 58.2) and its business activity index (which […]

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May

5

Growth Report for Monday, May 5, 2014

HIRING & MANUFACTURING PICK UP America’s economy created 288,000 new jobs in April, the most in any month since January 2012. Labor Department data showed the jobless rate falling dramatically to 6.3%, largely due to more people abandoning the job hunt. Still, the U-6 rate (unemployment + underemployment) was at 12.3% in April, a 4½-year […]

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Apr

28

Growth Report for Monday, April 28, 2014

CONSUMER OPTIMISM INCREASES At a final April mark of 84.1, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit a 9-month high. It climbed 4.1 points above the final March reading. The survey’s sub-index of current economic conditions came in at a 7-year high of 98.7.1 HOME SALES TAIL OFF While the National Association of Realtors […]

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Apr

21

Growth Report for Monday, April 21, 2014

CONSUMER PRICES ADVANCE 0.2% In reviewing March’s mild increase in household inflation, two statistics stand out. The Consumer Price Index measured a 2.7% year-over-year rise in shelter costs (the largest annual gain in six years). Americans also paid 0.4% for food last month. Annualized consumer inflation reached 1.5% in March, up from 1.1% for February.1 […]

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Apr

14

Growth Report for Monday, April 14, 2014

HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT REACHES 9-MONTH PEAK The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose 2.6 points in its preliminary April reading, bouncing back from a 4-month low of 80.0 at the end of March to a high unseen since last July. From 2003-07, the index averaged a reading of 89.0; during the 2007-09 recession, its […]

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Apr

6

Growth Report for Monday, April 7, 2014

PAYROLLS EXPAND BY 192,000 IN MARCH This gain almost met Wall Street’s expectations. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast 200,000 new jobs. March’s hiring didn’t move the Labor Department’s unemployment indicators much: the jobless rate remained at 6.7%, the labor force participation rate rose just slightly to 63.2, and the population of long-term unemployed still […]

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Mar

31

Growth Report for Monday, March 31, 2014

A SENSE OF OPTIMISM ON MAIN STREET The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index reached a six-year peak this month, climbing 4.0 points to 82.3. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a gain of 0.3 points to 78.6. Additionally, new Commerce Department data showed household spending rising 0.3% in February with household incomes up by the […]

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Mar

24

Growth Report for Monday, March 24, 2014

FED TAPERS, CHANGES CRITERIA FOR A RATE HIKE Last week, the Federal Reserve disclosed another $10 billion cut for QE3 in April, and a view that declining unemployment would not necessarily prompt interest rate increases. Rather than peg rate hikes on the jobless rate dipping below 6.5%, the Fed will give greater weight to inflation […]

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Mar

17

Growth Report for Monday, March 17, 2014

RETAIL SALES UP 0.3% IN FEBRUARY Weather didn’t stop Americans from shopping last month. February’s headline gain in retail sales was the first in three months and represented a nice turnaround from the (revised) 0.6% drop measured by the Commerce Department for January. Minus car and truck buying, the February increase was still 0.3%. Sales […]

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