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Growth Report for Monday, June 10, 2013

A REASSURING JOBS REPORT  A jittery Wall Street liked the big picture it saw in the Labor Department’s May employment report. The economy added 175,000 jobs last month: decent hiring growth, not dismaying to investors, yet not impressive enough to signal the Federal Reserve to taper off QE3. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast payrolls rising …

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Growth Report for Monday, June 3, 2013

CONSUMERS UPBEAT IN MAY, SPEND LESS IN APRIL  Consumer spending slipped 0.2% in April, with a 4.4% drop in purchases of gas, electricity and other energy goods and services being a major influence. In better news, the Commerce Department noted a 3.4% rise in personal spending in Q1, and the two most-watched consumer confidence gauges …

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Growth Report for Monday, May 28, 2013

APRIL DATA AFFIRMS HOUSING REBOUND Last month brought a 2.3% gain in new home sales and an 0.6% increase in existing home sales. Distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures) represented only 18% of residential resales in April, the National Association of Realtors noted; compare that with 28% of sales in April 2012. NAR also announced …

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Growth Report for Monday, May 20, 2013

SUBDUED INFLATION IN APRIL Consumer and producer prices retreated last month. The federal government’s Consumer Price Index fell 0.4%, a monthly descent unseen since December 2008; the Producer Price Index declined 0.7%, its biggest monthly drop in three years. Consumer prices also fell for a second straight month; the last time that happened was in …

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Growth Report for Monday, May 13, 2013

HOW IS THIS EARNINGS SEASON TURNING OUT? At the closing bell on May 10, 90% of S&P 500 firms had reported quarterly results. According to Reuters, 67% of them have surpassed earnings forecasts and 24% have fallen short of projections. Should the remaining 50 components report results matching estimates, earnings will be up 5.3% on …

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Growth Report for Monday, May 6, 2013

UNEMPLOYMENT EDGES DOWN TO 7.5% April brought a rebound in hiring. Employers added 165,000 jobs, and so the unemployment rate reached a four-year low. (The Labor Department also revised March’s job gains upward to 138,000.) Payrolls have now expanded by an average of 189,000 jobs a month during the last six months.1 CONSUMER SPENDING, OUTLOOK …

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Growth Report for Monday, April 29, 2013

Q1 GDP COMES IN AT 2.5% The initial estimate of first quarter growth from the Bureau of Economic Analysis disappointed some analysts who had expected 3% expansion or better. Personal consumption and inventory accumulation were the prime sources of growth. Personal spending rose 3.2% in the quarter, but real disposable personal income fell 5.3%, which …

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Growth Report for Monday, April 22, 2013

INFLATION DECLINES Consumer prices retreated 0.2% in March as fuel costs fell, a sea change from the 0.7% rise in the Consumer Price Index seen in February. (Labor Department data did show a 0.1% rise in core CPI.) Annualized consumer inflation was at 1.5% in March, down half a percent in a month. Year-over-year inflation …

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Growth Report for Monday, April 15, 2013

HOUSEHOLDS BOUGHT LESS LAST MONTH Retail sales were down 0.4% in March, according to the Commerce Department. This unanticipated dip was the deepest retreat in nine months. Even with volatile car and truck sales factored out, the March decline remained 0.4%.1  CONSUMER SENTIMENT SLIPS The University of Michigan’s overall index of consumer sentiment came in …

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