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Tag Archives: Consumer Spending

Unemployment Rate Drops to 4-Year Low, 146K Jobs Added

Superstorm Sandy blew a hole not in the nation's labor market, but in economists' crystal balls as the economy added 146,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent--the lowest level since December 2008, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)reported Friday. Economists had forecast payroll growth of 93,000, down from 171,000 as originally reported for October, and an increase in the unemployment rate from 7.9 percent to 8.0 percent. While the drop in the unemployment rate was a positive sign, it was driven largely by a drop in the labor force.

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Sandy Crashes October Income, Spending

Consumer spending fell $20.2 billion in October as personal income remained relatively flat, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The October report marked the first time since June in which income growth--however modest--exceeded spending. Still, income growth was the weakest it has been since last November, when it fell $31.1 billion in one month--a decline that was completely reversed one month later.

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GDP Up 2.7% in Q3, Corporate Profits Grow

Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up significantly, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday, reaching a 2.7 percent annualized growth. Economists had forecast a 2.8 percent growth rate. The report on GDP was the second of three monthly reports and billed as the ""second estimate."" The report on profits was the first of two and labeled ""preliminary."" Final reports on both will be released December 20.

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Fiscal Cliff Concerns Hinder Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence hit the wall in November as Americans sweat the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff, according to monthly survey results released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers showed confidence over the economy increased just 0.1 percent from October to November, hitting 82.7 on the Index of Consumer Sentiment. Preliminary data released earlier in November put the index at 84.9, and economists polled by Reuters expected a median index of 84.5.

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September Spending Outpaces Income

Consumer spending rose $87.9 billion, 0.8 percent, in September, twice the 0.4 percent growth in personal income, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Monday. While the increase in income matched economist expectations, the increase in spending was higher than the forecast. It was the third straight month spending grew faster than income.

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GDP Up 2% in Q3, Beating Forecasts

Led by increases in personal consumption, government spending and residential investment, the U.S. economy grew 2.0 percent in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday, faster than economists expected and a strong rebound from the 1.3 percent growth rate in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an increase of 1.9 percent.

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Home Prices Give Lift to Consumer Spending

A significant increase in home prices helped push Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index up in September, the company reported. The index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, rose to 3.53 from 3.27 in August. A substantial 10.5 percent bump in housing prices accounted for much of the overall increase.

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Report: Growth in Consumer Spending Outpaces Income in August

Consumer spending rose $57.2 billion, 0.1 percent, in August but personal income improved just $15 billion, 0.5 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday. While the increase in spending matched economist expectations, the increase in incomes was half of what had been forecast.

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Home Price Declines Consistent Across the Country

Marking the fifth consecutive month of decline, home prices fell 0.8 percent in October, matching levels last seen in 2002, according to Lender Processing Services' (LPS) Home Price Index released Wednesday. As of October, the national home price average was $200,000. The year-to-date decline in October was 2.7 percent. The LPS index noted that price declines were consistent across the country. In fact, prices fell in October in 403 out of the 409 metro areas LPS tracks.

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Existing-Home Sales Jump Nearly 19% From Last Year

Last month's 18.6 percent surge in existing-home sales from a year earlier had some market observers doing a double-take, but Galen Ward, who runs a real estate brokerage web site, says it wasn't unexpected. Michael Simonsen of Altos Research says anything is going to look good coming off the market's tax-credit hangover this time last year. But the fact that the median home price was down more than 5 percent from August 2010 at the same time sales jumped so sharply is one of the most telling stats for Clear Capital's Alex Villacorta.

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