However, weaker growth may lie ahead04/20/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
A closely watched economic prognosticating tool is suggesting continued economic growth, although at a slower pace.
The Conference Board says its Leading Economic Index (LEI) was up 0.2% last month following modest gains dating back to December.
“Although the leading economic index still points to a moderate expansion in economic activity, its slowing growth rate over recent months suggests weaker growth may be ahead,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference...
A rebound in motor vehicle demand gets a lot of the credit04/14/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Retail sales shot higher in March after tumbling an upwardly revised 0.5% month earlier, for the first gain in 4 months.
Figures released by the Census Bureau show sales totaled $441.4 billion -- an increase of 0.9% from February up 1.3% from a year earlier.
Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were up 2.7% last month following February's 2.1% decline. Other sectors show strong advances were building material and garden equipment and supplies (+2.1%), ...
The August reading is the strongest since April09/12/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
Retail sales rose in August for a seventh straight month.
Figures from the Census Bureau show sales totaled $444.4 billion last month -- an increase of 0.6% from The previous month and up 5.0% from August of last year.
At the same time, the July showing, which had initially been reported as flat , was revised to an advance of 0.3%
If the highly volatile auto sector, where sales jumped 1.5%, is stripped out, August sales were up a more modest 0.3%.
Other winners include ...
This could be the lowest year for job cuts in more than a decade10/02/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
Planned job cuts announced by employers based in the U.S. plunged 24% in September to a 14-year low of 30,477.
Figures released by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas suggest 2014 is on pace to be the lowest job-cut year since 1997.
Last month’s job cuts were the fewest since June, 2000, when just 17,241 workers were let go. The September decline brings the 2014 monthly average down to 40,379. If this pace holds, the year could end with fewer th...
The increase, while below forecasts, was the fourth in a row06/12/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
For the fourth time in as many months, retail sales posted a gain during May.
Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau show sales last month were up a seasonally adjusted 0.3% -- to $437.6 billion, and a gain of 4.3% over May of 2013. In addition, The April figure was revised higher to show and advance of 0.5% instead of the 0.1% initially reported.
Still, some economists were disappointed with the showing. The consensus esimate of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com was f...
Analysts see growing momentum in job creation07/24/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
First-time applications for state unemployment benefits have fallen to their lowest level in more than 8 years.
The Labor Department says initial jobless claims plunged by 19,000 in the week ending July 19, to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 -- a decrease of 19,000 and the lowest level since February 18, 2006, when they totaled 283,000.
Sterne-Agee Chief Economist Lindsey M. Piegza points out that despite the “impressive outsized decline,” the U.S. labor market r...
The economy created 200k+ jobs for a sixth straight month08/01/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
Job creation may have fallen a little short of expectations in July, but the figure is what one analyst calls “impressive.”
Figures released by the Labor Department (DOL) show the economy cranked out 200,000 nonfarm payroll positions last month while the the unemployment rate inched up 0.1% -- to 6.2%.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were looking for 220,000 new jobs.
As it released the July report, DOL revised its job creation figures higher for the two pre...
The months-long decline continues10/16/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
First-time applications for state unemployment benefits have fallen to their lowest level in 14 years.
According to the Labor Department (DOL), claims plunged 23,000 in the week ending October 11 to a seasonally 264,000. That's is the lowest level since April 15, 2000, 259,000 claims were filed.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting an increase to 290,000.
Sterne Agee Chief Economist Lindsey M. Piegza calls the decline a “welcomed improvement,”...
The advance follows the first decline in 8 months11/14/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
Retail sales bounced back in October from September's decline -- the first in 8 months.
The Census Bureau reports sales were up a seasonally adjusted $444.5 billion or 0.3% from the
previous month, and were 4.1% above October the same period a year ago.
Contributing to the advance were sales at Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores (+1.2), food services and drinking places (+0.9%) and health and personal care stores (+0.7%). Auto sales rose 0.5% after falling 1.1% ...
A new survey shows high school seniors are looking to the future09/05/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
An estimated 10,000 people retire each day, according to Pew Research, a trend that's likely to continue for the next 15 years or so. That means a lot of jobs will need to be filled, many of them requiring a particular skill.
So, who's going to be taking on this responsibility?
According to new research from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI), high school seniors may be taking a more active role in providing a solution to the skills gap. Nearly 75...
However, the latest levels continue to suggest a rebounding job market09/25/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
After falling to the lowest level since July a week earlier, first-time applications for state unemployment benefits moved higher last week.
Government figures show initial jobless claims were at a seasonally adjusted total of 293,000 -- an increase of 12,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 to 281,000.
Even with the sizeable increase, the total was 7,000 below the consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com.
The governmnt says there were no ...
The jobless rate is the lowest in more than 6 years10/03/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
A surge in jobs in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care helped push total nonfarm payroll employment up by 248,000 in September.
At the same time, figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate fell to 5.9% -- the lowest since July 2008.
The 0.2% decline in the jobless rate came as the number of unemployed persons fell by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemploye...
The index was higher for the second time in 3 months10/24/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
After taking August off, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) is on the move again.
The advance of 0.8% in September to 104.4 follows no change in August, and an advance of 1.1% in July.
“The LEI picked up in September, after no change in August, and the strengths among its components have been very widespread over the past six months,” said Conference Board Economist Ataman Ozyildirim. “The outlook for improving employment and further inco...
Analysts see some stabilization in the offing05/08/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
First-time applications for state unemployment compensation dipped last week, falling below the level many economists were expecting.
Government figures show claims were down by 26,000 during the week ending May 3 -- to a seasonally adjusted 319,000. The consensus from economists surveyed by Briefing.com was for 325,000.
Sterne Agee Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza points out that against the backdrop of last Friday's report of an “outsized rise in nonfarm payrolls&rd...
A second look at early 2014 shows we're losing ground05/29/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
What a difference a couple of months can make.
The government reports that the economy, after growing at an annual rate of 2.6% in the last three months of 2013, is now shrinking at a clip of 1.0%.
Just a month ago, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimated that real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States – grew at an 0.1% annual rate for the first three months of 2014.
Consumers tucked away more money for that rainy day10/31/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
Personal income rose last month, while consumers tightened their grip on their pocket books.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, incomes were up $22.7 billion, or 0.2%, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) dipped $19.0 billion, or 0.2%.
By way of comparison, personal income increased $50.7 billion, or 0.3% in August and PCE jumped $58.7 billion, or 0.5%, based on revised estimates.
Disposable personal income (DPI) -- personal income less personal current ta...
A third look at GDP shows more strength than previously reported09/26/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
The third time is the charm when it comes to calculating economic growth for the second quarter.
This latest look at expansion in the gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. -- shows growth at an annual rate of 4.6%.
The first two estimates put expansion at a rate of 4.0% and 4.2%, respectively. The stringer showing follows a first-quarter decline of 2.1%.
This latest estimate is based on more complete so...