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Tag Archives: Consumer spending

Consumer Confidence Heads Toward Long-Term Norm

Consumer confidence reached a four-month high in April, according to the University of Michigan’s preliminary measure of consumer sentiment for the month. After taking a hit in March, the index rebounded to 82.6 in April, prompting one analytics firm to anticipate a possible return in consumer confidence to a long-term normal of 85. The university also measures current conditions and expectations, finding upticks in both this month.

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Forecast Calls for Economic Thaw

However, according to an economic forecast report released Wednesday by UCLA Anderson, analysts expect the national GDP to growth by roughly 3 percent now that warmer and wetter spring weather is on the way. Moreover, as the GDP rises, increased housing and business investments and consumer spending should keep that growth rate steady through 2016.

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Interest Rates Set Back Consumers’ Buying Plans

According to a report released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment retreated last month to an index reading of 80.0, down 2 percent from February’s 81.6. The most immediate concern, according to the survey, is the ongoing slowdown in home value gains. Given the stall in price improvements and the increase in interest rates over the last year, plans to purchase homes are reportedly on the decline.

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Fourth-Quarter GDP Growth Bumped Up to 2.6%

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the increase in real GDP last quarter mostly reflected positive contributions from consumer spending, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. Those gains were partly offset by drags in federal government spending and expenditures on housing. The latest growth estimate was an improvement over BEA’s second report, which suggested 2.4 percent annualized growth.

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Consumer Confidence Rebounds to Six-Year High

According to a release Tuesday, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved to 82.3 in the latest survey, up four points from February’s reading. It was the strongest index value since January 2008. “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board.

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Consumer Spending Measure Flat in February

Deloitte’s Consumer Spending Index was largely flat in February, seeing “only a marginal change” amid moderate economic growth, the professional services company reported. The index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, edged down slightly to 3.9 from a reading of 4.0 in January. “The fundamentals for consumer spending remain stable,” commented Daniel Bachman, senior U.S. economist for Deloitte.

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Consumer Sentiment Weathers February Chill

Days after the Conference Board recorded a downturn in consumer confidence, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters put out their own index, which suggested just the opposite. Surveys of Consumers’ Index of Consumer Sentiment picked up to 81.6 in February, a 0.5 percent month-over-month improvement and a gain of 5.2 percent year-over-year.

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Fourth-Quarter GDP Growth Slashed

In the second of three planned reports, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) put gross domestic product (GDP) growth at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in Q4 2013, down from its initial estimate of 3.2 percent in January and its final report of 4.1 percent in the third-quarter. Full-year growth is estimated at 1.9 percent compared to 2.8 percent in 2012.

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Consumer Outlook Sours in February

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell from a revised 79.4 last month to 78.1 in the most recent release. The individual components making up the index were mixed, with the measure of current conditions rising nearly four points to 81.7 and the gauge of consumer expectations falling more than five points to 75.7.

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Consumer Sentiment Withstands Economic Stumble

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Index of Consumer Sentiment stood at a reading of 81.2 in an early-look report released Friday. The index was unchanged from its final January reading. The mid-February reading was affected by deterioration in the gauge measuring perceptions about current conditions, which fell to 94.0 from January's 96.8. That was offset by a pickup in the measure of six-month expectations, which rose to 73.0 from 71.2 previously.

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