The savings rate posted a gain as well08/28/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
American consumers were earning, spending, and saving more money in July.
Figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show personal income rose $67.1 billion, or 0.4% for a fourth straight month, disposable personal income (DPI) -- personal income less personal current taxes -- increased by 0.5%, or $61.5 billion, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) advanced $37.4 billion, or 0.3 % for the second month in a row.
Wages and salaries increased $35.8 billion i...
Jobless claims on the decline08/27/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The government has taken a second look at how the economy was doing in the April – June period, and it appears we're in better shape than we thought.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product -- the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes – rose at an annual rate of 3.7% in the second quarter.
The “advance estimate” of a 2.3% g...
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% ...
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 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 ...
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,”...
Job cutting in 2014 was the lowest since 199701/08/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Another good sign that the economy is back on track comes in news from Challenger, Gray & Christmas that job cuts declined for a second straight month in December.
According to the outplacement consultancy, U.S.-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 32,640 -- the third lowest monthly total of 2014 -- and down 9.2 percent from 35,940 planned reductions in November.
All told, 2014 saw the fewest planned job cuts since 1997.
Last year's total of 483,171...
Still, the level remains above 300k01/22/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Initial jobless claims fell last week after a surprise increase the previous week.
The Labor Department (DOL) reports applications for state unemployment benefits were down 10,000 during the week ending January 17 to seasonally adjusted 307,000. The previous weeks increase, reported at the time as 19,000 was even worse. The figure was revised upward to show an advance of 20,000 -- to 317 thousand.
DOL says there were no special factors affecting the initial claims increas...
The “improved economic climate” is cited as a major factor05/05/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
There was improvement April in the non-manufacturing, or services, sector of the economy. According to the Institute for Supply Management, the sector rose 1.3% last month to 57.8% -- the 63rd straight month of expansion.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index jumped 4.1% -- to 61.6 percent, reflecting growth for the 69th consecutive month at a faster rate. The New Orders Index was up 1.4% to 59.2% and the Employment Index inched up 0.1% to 56.7% -- indicating 14...
More firms report hiring, saying there's little or no problem finding workers05/06/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Despite a slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter of 2015, members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and other industry economists have bullish expectations for the year.
In the April NABE Business Conditions Survey, 77 NABE members and selected industry economists were polled on business conditions in their firms or industries. The results reflect first-quarter results and the near-term outlook.
The survey results indicate “a marked dec...
The unemployment rate fell to a 7-year low05/08/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
After creating an anemic 85,000 (revised downward from 126,000) jobs in March, the economy got fired up and cranked out 223,000 nonfarm payroll positions in April, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.1% to 5.4% -- a 7-year low.
Figures released by the Labor Department (DOL) show most of the job gains came in professional and
business services, health care, and construction, while mining employment continued to decline.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rat...
There's still cause for economic concern, though05/22/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
A chief indicator of future economic performance posted a solid gain last month.
The Conference Board reports its Leading Economic Index (LEI) was up 0.7% in April following a March increase of 0.4% and a 0.2% decline in February.
“April’s sharp increase in the LEI seems to have helped stabilize its slowing trend, suggesting the paltry economic growth in the first quarter may be temporary,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board. “However, the growth ...
The contraction in growth is the first in a year05/29/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The economy petered out in the first three months of this year.
According to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) -- the value of the production of goods and services in the U.S. adjusted for price changes -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter. It was the first contraction since the first quarter of 2014 and the worst quarterly showing since the Great Recession.
In the advance estimate...
Manufacturing -- not so much06/03/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
After coming in below the closely-watched mark of 200,000 for 2 straight months, job creation appears to be back on track.
According to the May ADP National Employment Report, private sector employment increased by 201,000 jobs from April to May.
"The labor market moved back up to the 200,000 jobs added mark in May, a number which has been something of a bellwether for healthy employment growth," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. "We h...
Analysts credit a stabilization in oil prices06/04/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The number of planned job cuts announced by U.S.-based firms plunged in May, falling by 33% -- to 41,034 after hitting a 3-year high in April.
The latest tally by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas follows the 61,582 planned job cuts announced the previous month -- the highest monthly total since May 2012.
The May total is down 23% from a year ago, when 52,961 planned job cuts were announced in May.
So far this year, employers have announced 242,830 te...
Things are still perking along, though06/04/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
While economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in May for the 64th consecutive month, the rate of expansion was slower.
According to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) latest Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) registered 55.7% last month down 2.1% from the April reading of 57.8%.
“Overall there has been a slight slowing in the rate of growth for the non-manufacturing sector,” noted Anthony Nieves chair of the (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Com...
More good news: Those with jobs were earning more06/05/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
May was a strong month for job creation.
According to the Labor Department (DOL), the economy cranked out 280,00 nonfarm payroll positions last month following a revised total of 221,000 new jobs in April.
At the same time, the unemplopyment rate edged up 0.1% to 5.5%. But even that was good news as people who had given up looking for work re-entered the job market -- a sign of growing optimism.
Nearly as important, average hourly earnings for all employees on private n...