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Tag Archives: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Commentary: Maximizing the Minimum

Economic data for the week ending February 22--particularly for housing--was less than encouraging. A small increase in existing-home sales was the only bright spot, but that was weighed down by another drop in the median price of existing single-family homes to their lowest level in 10 months. The word "another" is critical because it means the drop in inventory in December did not result in higher prices. Indeed, the supply of homes for sale fell again in January, this time to the lowest level in 13 years.

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Unemployment Rate Up to 7.9% in January, Economy Adds 157K Jobs

If businesses had any reluctance to hire in December because of fiscal cliff concerns, they didn't make up for it in January: Payrolls expanded by 157,000, down from December, but the unemployment rate moved to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent a month earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.

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Personal Income Jumps With Fiscal Cliff Dividends

Personal income jumped a staggering 2.6 percent in December, almost four times the 0.7 increase economists forecast, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday. Part of the December increase, BEA said, was due to "accelerated bonus payments and other irregular pay in private wages in anticipation of changes in individual income tax rates." Personal consumption spending rose 0.2 percent, slightly below the expected 0.3 percent increase. The increase in personal spending--$22.6 billion --came primarily in spending on services.

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FOMC to Continue Low Rates Efforts, Reinvestment Program

Fed

With a nod to the report the nation's economy had contracted in the fourth quarter, the Federal Open Market Committee ("FOMC") voted Wednesday to continue its program of purchasing $40 million a month of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and to maintain the target Fed Funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent. The FOMC vote was 11-1 with only Kansas City Fed President Esther George (in her first meeting as a voting member of the committee) voting "no."

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GDP Shows First Post-Recession Decline in Q4

For the first time since the end of the Great Recession, real gross domestic product (GDP) fell in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported. According to the BEA, GDP fell 0.1 percent in Q4, performing even worse than economists had expected. The biggest hits to fourth quarter GDP came from a sharp drop in government spending, which fell 6.6 percent from the third quarter. Private investment fell 0.6 percent, primarily due to inventory investments and a fall-off in exports.

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Personal Income Soars in November, Q4 Still Looks Weak

Personal income jumped 0.6 percent in November--twice what economists forecast--improving $85.8 billion, while spending rose a hefty 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The growth in spending matched economists├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó forecasts. The jump in spending reversed a $6.6 billion decline in October but fell short of the $86.2 increase in consumption recorded in September.

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GDP Growth Revised to 3.1% for Q3, Corporate Profits Surge

Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up again, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday, reaching a 3.1 percent annualized growth rate. The report on GDP was the third of three monthly reports tracking the broadest measure of the nation's economic health. GDP growth of 3.0 percent is considered "trend," with above-trend growth suggesting favorable conditions for hiring. In the same report, BEA said corporate profits rose $45.7 billion in the third quarter, more than double the increase in the second quarter.

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Sandy Rains on 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 report was weaker than the 0.3 percent growth in income and 0.1 percent growth in spending economists had expected. While the report reflects a weak beginning to the fourth quarter, the disappointing growth largely comes from work interruptions brought by superstorm Sandy, which impacted 24 states, by BEA's estimation.

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GDP Growth for Q3 Revised to 2.7%

Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up significantly, reaching a 2.7 percent annualized growth, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Thursday. Economists had forecast a 2.8 percent growth rate from the first estimate of 2.0 percent reported last month. Residential fixed investment accounted for $12.2 billion in the third quarter, according to the revised report, virtually unchanged from the $12.3 billion in the advance report of the third-quarter GDP increase and up from the $7.2 contribution in the second quarter.

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September Spending Growth Outpaces Income

Consumer spending rose $87.9 billion, 0.8 percent, in September twice the 0.4 percent growth in personal income, $48.1 billion, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Monday. While the increase in income matched economist expectations, the increase in spending was higher than forecast. It was the third straight month spending grew faster than income, confirming last Friday's report showing a solid growth in Gross Domestic Product from 1.3 percent in the second quarter to 2.0 percent in the third.

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