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Economic Update 04/21/14


In reviewing March’s mild increase in household inflation, two statistics stand out. The Consumer Price Index measured a 2.7% year-over-year rise in shelter costs (the largest annual gain in six years). Americans also paid 0.4% for food last month. Annualized consumer inflation reached 1.5% in March, up from 1.1% for February.


Retail sales rose 1.1% last month, bettering the (revised) 0.7% advance in February. Census Bureau data showed core retail sales (minus auto buying) up 0.7% for March; they increased 0.3% a month earlier.


According to Federal Reserve data, March was another solid month for industrial output – production rose 0.7%, and the Fed revised the February advance to 1.2%. Groundbreaking by builders increased 2.8% in March, though the Census Bureau also measured a 2.4% decline in building permits.


Stocks got a lift last week as the pace of China’s economic growth topped forecasts and Fed chair Janet Yellen stated that the central bank has a “continuing commitment” to supporting the economy. The weekly gains: NASDAQ, 2.39% to 4,095.52; Dow, 2.37% to 16,408.54; S&P 500, 2.71% to 1,864.85.

THIS WEEK: On Monday, earnings roll in from Kimberly-Clark, Netflix and Hasbro and the Conference Board’s March LEI also appears. Tuesday brings March existing home sales figures, the April FHFA home price index and earnings from Bank of NY Mellon, Amgen, Harley-Davidson, Comcast, McDonald’s, Travelers, Xerox, AT&T, Discover Financial, Yum Brands, Lockheed Martin and Lexmark. March new home sales numbers are out Wednesday, plus quarterly results from Dow Chemical, Owens Corning, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, Ericsson, Northrop Grumman, TD Ameritrade, Ingersoll-Rand, E*Trade, Zynga, Texas Instruments, Snapple, Delta Airlines, Raymond James, Safeway and Qualcomm. Thursday, earnings from Broadcom, Under Armour, Starbucks, Jet Blue, Altria, General Motors, Starwood, Microsoft,, Caterpillar, Verizon, 3M, UPS, T. Rowe Price, Novartis, PulteGroup, Raytheon, AstraZeneca, Occidental Petroleum, Eli Lilly, Dunkin Brands, DR Horton and Pandora arrive plus data on March hard goods orders and a new initial claims report. Friday, the University of Michigan’s final April consumer sentiment index comes out, plus earnings from State Street, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Goodyear, Honda, Weyerhaeuser and Tyco.

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About the Independent Financial Advisor

Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.

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