Home >> Author Archives: Mark Lieberman (page 30)

Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

Initial Unemployment Claims Again Hit Four Year Low

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 6,000 to 357,000 by the end of March, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The previous week's report were revised upward to show a jump by the end of March to 363,000 instead of the originally reported 357,000. Nonetheless ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô subject to revisions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the new current week's total represented a four year low. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, also fell, dropping 16,000 to 3,338,000 for the week ended March 24, the third straight week-week decline.

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Spending Growth Outpaces Income in February

Consumer spending grew 0.8 percent in February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday, fueling expectations for a stronger first quarter economic surge than economists have forecast. Personal spending grew faster than the 0.6 percent market consensus. Personal income, BEA reported, grew just 0.2 percent in February, half the rate of growth expected by economists. In dollars, spending increased $86.0 billion in February while income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô from all sources ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô grew $28.2 billion. Spending for the first two months of the quarter averaged $10.9 billion.

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Fourth-Quarter GDP Growth Hovers Close to 3.0%

Real gross domestic product - the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States - increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, unchanged from the estimate issued a month ago, consistent with market expectations. In its initial report on fourth quarter GDP, the BEA had said the nation's economy grew at a 2.8 percent pace. The economic growth rate is the fastest in the past 18 months but only slightly above the fourth quarter of 2007 when the Great Recession began.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Drop To New Four-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 5,000 to 359,000 for the week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The previous week's report ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and all data reports back to 2007 - were revised to show a jump for mid-March to 364,000 instead of the originally reported 348,000. Even with the upward revisions, claims dipped to the lowest level since April 2008. Economists had expected initial claims would increase to 350,000. Data for the week ended mid-March covered the same "reference" week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its survey.

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New-Home Sales Fall in February for Second Straight Month

New-homes sales fell 1.6 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000, the second straight monthly decline, the Commerce Department and HUD jointly reported Friday. Sales for January were revised downward from 321,000 to 318,000. The median price of a new home in February jumped to $233,700 from $215,700. The median price in February was the highest since last June when the median price hit $240,200.The median price in February was 6.2 percent higher than figures for the same seen in February last year.

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Single-Family Starts Plunge, Permits Increase in February

Housing starts fell 1.1 percent in February to 698,000, compared with market expectations for a smaller decline, the Census Bureau and HUD jointly reported Tuesday. Single-family starts plunged 9.9 percent to 457,000, the steepest decline in a year, according to the agencies. The starts suggest strongly January's unexpectedly strong report was influenced by unseasonably warm weather, which pulled starts forward. Single-family starts have been weak for the past three years. Housing permits, unaffected by weather, rose 5.1 percent in February.

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March Builder Confidence Flat As String of Increases Ends

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Builder confidence was flat in March, matching a downwardly revised February index of 28, the first time in six months the index has not increased, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday. The builder assessment of present home sales conditions actually dipped in March, falling to 29, the first decline since last September. The outlook for home sales in the next six months rose to 36 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the highest level since June 2007 - from 34 in February. Buyer traffic was flat in March at 22. The drop in the index in the West census region was precipitous.

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Declining Initial Unemployment Claims Reverse Trends

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 14,000 in the week ended March 9, according to the Labor Department. In a Thursday report, the bureau noted that the decline represents the first drop in four weeks. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, also fell, dropping 81,000 to 3,343,000, after two second straight weekly increases. The four week moving average for initial claims was flat at 355,750, unchanged from the previous week while the four week average for continuing claims declined 25,250 to 3,394,250.

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