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Tag Archives: Consumer spending

Slow Wage Growth Holds Down March Personal Income

Restrained by slow wage growth, personal income rose a disappointing $30.9 billion (0.2 percent) in March--half of what economists expected--as spending rose $21.0 billion or 0.2 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Monday. Economists had expected income to improve 0.4 percent in February and spending to increase 0.1 percent. Personal income had improved $15.2 billion in February, largely on the strength of an $80 billion increase in dividend payments. Dividend payments in March increased by $4.5 billion over February.

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Consumer Sentiment Slips in April, Matches Year-Ago Level

The Survey of Consumers Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped a bit from March to April but stayed level on a yearly basis, according to the latest release. The overall index declined to 76.4 from 78.6 in March, a drop of 2.8 percent. April 2012's index also read 76.4. According to Survey of Consumers, most of April's loss was in how consumers viewed future economic prospects: "In particular, consumers were less optimistic about the ability of the economy to continue to expand without a renewed downturn sometime in the next five years."

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Chase: Consumer Spending Softens in Q1

Following a "robust" holiday shopping season, consumer spending slowed to a more cautious pace in this year's first quarter, according to new data from the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index. The index shows overall spending was down 9 percent from the last quarter of 2012, falling to a level about even with last year's first quarter. As winter gave way to spring, March saw consumers shift their spending focus to home improvement projects (up 25 percent from February) and clothing/apparel (up 28 percent).

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Beige Book Sees Moderate Growth, Sequester Threat

Fed

Despite threats from the federal budget sequester, the nation's economy expanded "at a moderate pace" from late February to early April, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book. Reports on mortgage lending, the Beige Book said, "were mostly favorable" with stronger refinancing activity in New York and Atlanta. The Cleveland and Kansas City districts, according to the report, "noted a shift from mortgage refinancing to new purchases," and New York, Richmond, Dallas, and San Francisco "reported an uptick in residential mortgage loans."

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Deloitte: Consumer Spending Stays the Course in March

Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, remained largely on a steady course in March as the economy stabilized. The company reported an index reading of 4.12 for March, down a bit from 4.37 the previous month. While March's reading was a bit of a dip, Deloitte notes the index has remained fairly steady over the past five months, remaining above the 4.0 mark while wages, home prices, and unemployment claims find steadier ground.

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Commentary: No News Is…

Sometimes a story just fits--and sometimes it doesn't. Given that maxim, the explanation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the drop in the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for February has to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. According to the NAR, the PHSI dropped because of the low inventory of homes for sale. Of course, that wasn't offered as an explanation one month earlier, when the inventory of homes for sale dropped, and the PHSI increased.

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Consumer Sentiment Beats Expectations in March

After showing disappointing preliminary numbers, the final Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey Index of Consumer Sentiment jumped to end March, according to the Surveys of Consumers group. The monthly index reached 78.6, coming in above February's reading of 77.6 and March 2012's reading of 76.2. Preliminary figures released mid-March showed an index reading of 71.8, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg came out with a median forecast of 72.6 for the month.

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Personal Income, Spending Jump in February

Personal income rose a solid $143.2 billion or 1.1% in February, dwarfing expectations and spending jumped $77.2 billion or 0.7%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, reported Friday. The data suggest the personal spending component of Gross Domestic Product remained strong in the first quarter.

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GDP Growth More Positive in Revised Report

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Thursday. The report, coming just three days before the end of the first quarter, was an improvement over the first two GDP reports that showed the economy contracted by 0.1 percent then improved by 0.1 percent. The main drag on the fourth quarter economy--as it had been in the previous two fourth-quarter reports--continued to be government spending.

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