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Tag Archives: Personal income

Home Equity Jumps 2.5 Percentage Points in Q1

Household net worth jumped by $3 trillion in the first quarter as real estate values grew $836 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report. With a drop in mortgage debt, owners' equity in real estate increased a sharp 2.5 percentage points to its highest level since 2007. Owners' equity as a percentage of real estate value has been on a steady upward trajectory since dropping to 36.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

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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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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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Personal Income Plunges in January, Spending Up

Personal income dropped $505.5 billion, or 3.6 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) fell $491.4 billion, or 4.0 percent, in January, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The income drop was steeper than the 2.1 percent decline economists had expected.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Drop, Continuing Claims Hit 43-Month Low

Bolstered by favorable seasonal adjustment factors, first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 27,000 to 341,000 for the week ending February 9, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected a much smaller decline to 360,000. Initial claims were under 350,000--a dividing line between a strong and weak labor market--for the third time in the last five weeks, hinting layoff activity has returned to normal.

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Beige Book Shows Expanding Economy at End of 2012

Fed

Economic activity "expanded" in the closing weeks of 2012, the Federal Reserve said in its periodic Beige Book released Wednesday, reflecting a slow but steadily declining unemployment rate and low rates of inflation--conditions the Fed said would have to be met before it raises interest rates. According to the report, "real estate activity has expanded or held steady in 11 Districts for existing home sales and leasing; eight Districts for residential construction; 11 Districts for nonresidential sales and leasing; and nine Districts for nonresidential construction."

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Commentary: Addressing the Wrong Problem

Negotiators in Washington face a dismal weekend leading up to -- and perhaps including -- New Year's Eve, made worse because they're trying to solve the wrong problem. They're wrangling over how to avoid the fiscal cliff when a series of laws aimed at or contributing to the nation's deficit are set to expire, complicated by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's pronouncement the nation is approaching its debt ceiling.

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Personal Income Soars in November, Q4 Still Looks Weak

Personal income jumped 0.6 percent in November--twice what economists forecast--improving $85.8 billion, while spending rose a hefty 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The growth in spending matched economists├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó forecasts. The jump in spending reversed a $6.6 billion decline in October but fell short of the $86.2 increase in consumption recorded in September.

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Stagnant Price Growth Drags Down Consumer Spending

Consumer spending turned down in November after nearly a year of steady gains, according to Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index. The index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending, comprises four components: tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices. The index dipped from 4.14 in October to 3.89 in November, turning around several months of improvement. The index reflects data through October but does not yet show the complete impact of superstorm Sandy.

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Jobless Rate Drops to 4-Year Low

Unemployment

Superstorm Sandy blew a hole not in the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós labor market, but in economists├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó crystal balls as the economy added 146,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent--the lowest level since December 2008--the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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