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Tag Archives: GDP

First-Quarter GDP Shows Sharp Gain Over Q4

The nation's economy rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter, slightly slower than economists had expected but more than six times the growth rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday.

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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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Commentary: Headlines and Bottom Lines

One of the most interesting results of poring through economic data reports is that the details often tell a different story than the headline. Coverage of the recent report on housing permits and starts, for example, was dominated by the increases in both metrics, suggesting a revival of the housing sector, a response some analysts suggested is due to tight inventories of existing-single family homes on the market. However, a closer look revealed a more important phenomenon.

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FOMC Continues Interest Rate, Investment Policies

Fed

With an upbeat assessment of the economy, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted 11-1 Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged and to continue its program of purchasing agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and longer-term Treasury securities to "maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative." Kansas City Fed President Esther George, who opposed a similar action in January, cast the lone dissenting vote.

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Capital Economics Examines Housing Recovery’s Impact on Growth

While the economy has already seen a slight bump from homebuilding, researchers from Capital Economics contend the burgeoning recovery may provide even greater lift to gross domestic product (GDP). In the firm's latest U.S. Economic Update, senior U.S. economist Paul Dales says the recovery in residential building contributed 0.3 percentage points to last year's 2.2 percent rise in GDP. In addition, recent developments have further highlighted the impact of the recovery on the larger economy.

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Commentary: Go With the Flow

According to the Flow of Funds report for Q4 2012, household assets grew to $79.5 trillion in the fourth quarter, an increase of $1.3 trillion--not too shabby. Household financial assets were up $784 billion to $54.4 billion but home equity (the value of household real estate less loans against that real estate) grew $452.8 billion, the result of two moving parts: real estate values (which increased) and household mortgage liabilities, which dropped. Once the dust settled, it meant equity in household real estate assets moved to 46.6 percent in the Q4.

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