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Tag Archives: Mark Lieberman

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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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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Initial Jobless Claims Drop, Continuing Claims at 5-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped for only the second time in the last six weeks, falling 16,000 to 339,000 for the week ending April 20, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected 350,000 initial claims. Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 13 were revised up to 355,000 from the originally reported 355,000.

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New Home Sales Rise in March as Prices Plummet

After experiencing the sharpest drop in two years in February, new home sales increased 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 in March, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected March sales to increase to 419,000 from a February's originally reported 411,000. The median price of a new home, according to the Census-HUD report, plunged $17,900 (or 6.8 percent) in March to $247,000, the largest month-over-month decline since February 2011.

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First-Time Unemployment Claims Tick Up

First time claims for unemployment insurance increased for the fourth time in the last five weeks, edging up 4,000 for the week ending April 13 to 352,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected 347,000 initial claims. Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 6 were revised up to 348,000 from the originally reported 346,000.

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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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Multifamily Building Leads Housing Starts in March

Housing starts jumped 7.0 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,036,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Tuesday. Multifamily starts (which increased 31.1 percent) accounted for all of March's gains, while single-family starts actually declined 4.8 percent. While the trajectory for both starts and permits shows a clear increasing pattern as the recovery marches on, residential construction activity remains far below pre-recession levels.

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