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Tag Archives: Consumer spending

First-Quarter GDP Growth Scaled Back

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) put GDP growth a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, a drop from the previous estimate of 2.4 percent. The downward revision to GDP came amidst positive news about the economy. Home prices, according to the Case-Shiller Index released Tuesday, rose at their fastest pace ever in April and consumer confidence, as reported by the Conference Board, increased for the third straight month. Residential fixed investment was reported as $399 billion, up slightly from the second report.

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Consumer Confidence Up for 3rd Straight Month in June

Consumer confidence saw a sizable jump in June, the Conference Board reported in its monthly Consumer Confidence Survey. Based on responses to the Nielsen survey, the index improved for the third consecutive month to 81.4, the highest level since January 2008. May's index was revised downward to 74.3. The Present Situation Index increased to 69.2 from April's revised reading of 64.8, while the Expectations Index rose to 89.5 from the previous month's downwardly revised reading of 80.6.

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Case-Shiller Indices Continue to Grow at Record Pace

Home prices posted their strongest monthly gain on record in April, increasing more than 2.5 percent, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. Overall, the 10-city index rose to 165.63, its highest level since November 2008, while the 20-city index improved to 152.37, also the highest level since November 2008. Of the 20 cities surveyed, Detroit was the only area not to show an increase in April. The April index of Detroit home prices read 81.28, barely down from 81.30 reported in April.

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Consumer Spending Index Inches Up in May

Improvements in housing and labor lifted Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index for May, the company reported. The index, which comprises four components--tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices--rose to a reading of 4.27 from April's 4.12. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending. Three out of the four components contributed to May's uptick, according to Daniel Bachman, senior U.S. economist for Deloitte.

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Confidence in Banks Rises to Post-Recession High

According to the results of Gallup's latest yearly poll, 26 percent of Americans surveyed said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in banks, up from last year's low of 21 percent. While the share of confident Americans increase, the share of those expressing little or no confidence was down to 28 percent from last year's 35 percent, closing the gap further. The percentage of confident Americans is now at its highest point since June 2008 but remains well below its pre-recession level of 41 percent in 2007.

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Consumer Sentiment Recedes, Expectations Stay Strong

According to this month's first reading, the Consumer Sentiment Index has a value of 82.7, a turnaround from the 84.5 reading in May. An analysis from economist Amna Asaf at Capital Economics pointed to the "modest rebound in gas prices and the latest wobble in equity prices" as cause for the dip. However, Asaf noted the drop "reversed only part of the sharp gain of May." The Current Economic Conditions Index also declined, falling to 92.1. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index climbed to 76.7, a seven-month high.

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Autos Boost May Retail Sales

Driven by stronger auto sales but held back by falling gasoline sales, total retail sales increased 0.6 percent in May, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. Excluding auto sales, retail activity increased 0.3 percent in May compared with April, when it was essentially flat.

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Americans’ Financial Worries Fall to 4-Year Low

The Consumer Reports Trouble Tracker Index, which measures the proportion of consumers that have faced financial difficulties and the number of events they've encountered, fell sharply from 41.7 in the last report to 34.0--the lowest level since the measure was created. As of the latest report, the tracker has fallen more than 50 percent from its reading of 68.7 in September 2009. At the same time, the index's employment measures showed job gains outpacing losses for the third straight month.

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Optimism Toward Buying, Selling Reaches Record Highs

According to Fannie Mae's May 2013 National Housing Survey, Americans expressed record confidence in price gains, with 55 percent--a survey high--saying they believe prices will go up in the next year. Only 7 percent of respondents in the survey expect prices to drop, the lowest level since the survey's inception. In addition, the average 12-month home price chance expectation was 3.9 percent, the highest level in the survey's history and a leap over April's 2.7 percent forecast.

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