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Economic Update 10/05/15

By Robert Pagliarini on October 5, 2015

142,000 NEW JOBS CREATED IN SEPTEMBER Is a global slowdown impacting the U.S. economy? The latest Labor Department jobs report seemed to say yes. Hiring last month fell far short of the 200,000 total projected by economists in a MarketWatch survey. Moreover, job gains across July and August were revised down by 59,000. There was…

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Economic Update 09/28/15

By Robert Pagliarini on September 28, 2015

A BIT MORE OPTIMISM AS SEPTEMBER ENDS The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index advanced slightly in the past couple of weeks, rising to a final September mark of 87.2 from its initial reading of 85.7. Regardless, this was the index’s poorest final monthly reading since October 2014. It did surpass the expectations of analysts…

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Economic Update 09/14/15

By Robert Pagliarini on September 14, 2015

NO SURPRISE: HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT WANES The initial September edition of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index came in last week at 85.7 – its lowest reading in a year, significantly below its final August mark of 91.9. Given the recent stock market retreat and ongoing headlines about China’s economic slowdown, the closely watched indicator…

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Economic Update 09/08/15

By Robert Pagliarini on September 9, 2015

PACE OF HIRING SLOWED IN AUGUST Last month, 173,000 Americans found new jobs. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast 213,000 new hires; analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal projected 220,000. There were definite silver linings within this disappointing Labor Department report, however. Annualized wage growth increased to 2.2%. June and July job gains were both…

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Economic Update 08/24/15

By Robert Pagliarini on August 24, 2015

CHINA DATA, CRUDE PRICES DRIVE MAJOR SELLOFF Fierce headwinds hit Wall Street last week. A report showed that Chinese factory activity hit a 6-year low in July, raising serious doubts about whether that country’s economy was still maintaining 7% annual growth. (The Shanghai Composite lost 4.3% Friday and 11% for the week.) Friday, WTI crude…

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Economic Update 08/17/15

By Robert Pagliarini on August 17, 2015

SHOPPERS SPEND MORE IN JULY Retail sales rose 0.6% last month according to Commerce Department data, topping the 0.5% gain projected in a poll of economists. This was great news after the flat June reading (which was initially recorded as an 0.3% decline). A SLIGHT DIP IN HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT Falling 0.2 points to a…

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Economic Update 08/10/15

By Robert Pagliarini on August 11, 2015

A GREEN LIGHT FOR A RATE HIKE? According to the latest Labor Department report, employers hired 215,000 new workers in July – 77,000 of them in professional, business, education, and health care occupations. The jobless rate held steady at 5.3% while the U-6 rate (unemployment + underemployment) ticked down to 10.4%. Monthly hiring totals have…

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Economic Update 08/03/15

By Robert Pagliarini on August 3, 2015

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS WITH STOCK DECLINES July brought an 8.9-point drop for the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index; it fell to 90.9. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index held up better, losing 3.0 points in July to descend to a mark of 93.1. PENDING HOME SALES SLIP; PRICE INDEX TICKS UP The National Association…

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Economic Update 07/27/15

By Robert Pagliarini on July 27, 2015

EXISTING HOME SALES UP, NEW HOME SALES DOWN According to the National Association of Realtors, residential resales increased 3.2% in June with the median home value hitting an all-time peak of $236,400, 6.5% higher than a year ago. New home buying subsided 6.8% last month with the median sales price at $281,800, representing a 1.8%…

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Economic Update 07/20/15

By Robert Pagliarini on July 21, 2015

CONSUMER & WHOLESALE PRICES INCREASE The Labor Department announced a 0.3% June rise in the headline Consumer Price Index, following the 0.4% advance for May. This left annualized consumer inflation positive for the first time in six months (+0.1%). June brought a 0.2% gain for the core CPI, which is now up 1.8% across the…

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