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Consumer Sentiment Beats Expectations

Consumers in the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey reported their most improved financial situation in more than five years, according to Surveys of Consumers. The group's Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 84.5 in May, its highest level since July 2007 and an improvement over the preliminary reading of 83.7. April's index reading was 76.4; May 2012's reading was 79.3. The survey comes only days after the Conference Board's latest index, which showed consumer confidence climbing to a five-year high in May.

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Report: Reverse Mortgage Trends Show Troubling Picture

While reverse mortgages can be a boon to seniors as they head into retirement, a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says trends show trouble in the market that may cost taxpayers billions of dollars. According to a 2012 MetLife survey, two-thirds of borrowers are now using reverse mortgages to pay down debt. Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow at NCPA, expects the "troubling trend will increase as more baby boomers enter retirement."

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Personal Spending, Income Drop in April

Restrained by drops in farm income and sequester-driven cuts in government programs, personal income slipped $5.6 billion in April, while personal consumption spending dropped $20.5 billion, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday.

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360 Mortgage Welcomes 3 New Account Executives

360 Mortgage Group, an Austin-headquartered mortgage banker focusing on third-party origination, announced the hiring of three new wholesale account executives who possess a combined total of more than 65 years of mortgage experience.

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FDIC-Insured Banks Report Record Q1 Profit

Overall, the commercial banks and savings institutions covered by the FDIC reported an aggregate net income yielding of $40.3 billion this quarter, an impressive $5.5 billion (or 15.8 percent) rise from last year's $34.8 billion. This statistic marks the 15th consecutive quarter that has reported an overall earnings increase. The average return on assets (ROA) also increased to a positive 1.12 percent, up from last year's 1.00 percent and likewise represents the highest quarterly ROA since 2007.

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