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Tag Archives: Consumer spending

First-Time Jobless Claims Drop to 10-Week Low

Unemployment

One week after spiking to a two-month high, first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 24,000 to 334,000 for the week ending July 13--the lowest level in 10 weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to drop to 344,000 from the 360,000 originally reported for the week ending July 6. The number of filings for that week was revised down to 358,000.

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Beige Book Again Sees Modest to Moderate Growth

Fed

Citing improvements in manufacturing, tourism, commercial and residential real estate and in the financial sector, the Federal Reserve said the nation's economy continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace from late May through early July.

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June Retail Sales Get Lift from Auto, Gas Prices

Total retail activity rose $1.6 billion in June compared with an increase of $2.25 billion in May. Auto sales accounted for $1.4 billion of the June increase and sales at gasoline stations another $316 million. Gasoline prices rose about 1 cent per gallon from May ($3.68) to June ($3.69). In June, sales at building material and garden supply stores dropped $574 million from May, the largest month-over-month decline since May 2012. Sales increased in June at furniture stores, clothing stores, and health and personal care stores.

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Consumer Sentiment Ticks Down Slightly in Early Report

The Index of Consumer Sentiment, published by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters twice each month (one preliminary reading and one final reading), dropped to 83.9 from June's final value of 84.1. The median forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 84.7. Amna Asaf, economist at analytics firm Capital Economics, said the drop "was probably a reaction to the decline in equity prices in late-June and early-July. The expectations index, meanwhile, fell from 77.8 to a three-month low of 73.8.

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Americans Report More Financial Troubles

Americans polled by Consumer Reports indicated they are facing significantly more financial troubles than in June, according to the group's latest index. According to Consumer Reports, the Trouble Tracker Index climbed more than five points to 39.2 in July, "an increase that was entirely fueled by an epic 23.3-point jump among those households earning $100,000 or more," the organization said. The spike in difficulties reported both upper-income households was reflected in the report's consumer sentiment measures.

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Commentary: Unintended Consequences

When Congress enacted Dodd-Frank in retribution for perceived ills, you had to know banks would come up with new ways to replace lost revenues, but bankers were too clever by half.

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Payrolls Up 195K, Unemployment Rate Flat in June

Adding new pressures for the Federal Reserve, the nation's economy added 195,000 jobs in June, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 7.6.percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 165,000, and that the unemployment rate would dip to 7.5 percent.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Continue Downward Trend

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell for the fourth time in the last five weeks, dropping 5,000 to 343,000 for week ending June 29, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The four-week moving average of first-time claims dropped 750 to 345,500. The four-week moving average of continuing claims declined 9,500 to 2,969,250 for the period ending June 22.

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Personal Income, Spending Rise in May

With a boost from the calendar, personal income rose 0.5 percent in May--faster than economists had forecast--while personal consumption went up an unsurprising 0.3 percent the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Thursday.

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