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Economic Update 07/13/15

By Robert Pagliarini on July 14, 2015

GREECE GIVES IN, STOCKS RALLY In an about-face development, the Greek government acceded to the demands of its creditors Thursday night. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a bailout proposal similar to the one the Greek people had rejected by referendum on July 5, including sales tax hikes, pension spending cuts and debt restructuring. Leaders of…

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Economic Update 07/06/15

By Robert Pagliarini on July 7, 2015

WALL STREET HANGS ON AS GREECE DEFAULTS When Greece revealed it would miss its July 1 debt payment to the International Monetary Fund last Tuesday, the Dow lost 2% for the day while the CBOE VIX gained more than 35%. (To add to the drama, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico stated that its debts were…

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Economic Update 06/29/15

By Robert Pagliarini on June 29, 2015

CONSUMER SPENDING INCREASES 0.9% This May gain represents quite a change from the mere 0.1% improvement recorded by the Commerce Department for April. It appears households have started to spend some of the money they saved on fuel and energy costs this winter. Consumer incomes rose 0.5% in May, replicating their April advance. HOUSEHOLDS FEEL…

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Economic Update 06/15/15

By Robert Pagliarini on June 15, 2015

SPRING SEES MORE SHOPPING Last week, the Commerce Department announced a 1.2% jump in retail sales for May, topping the 1.1% rise forecast by analysts polled by Briefing.com. Driving the improvement: a 3.7% leap in gas station sales. Purchases increased 2.1% at home improvement outlets, 2.0% at auto dealers and auto parts stores, 1.5% at…

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Economic Update 06/08/15

By Robert Pagliarini on June 8, 2015

NO LETUP IN HIRING IN MAY Last Thursday, the International Monetary Fund took the unusual step of offering the Federal Reserve some advice – it urged the central bank not to raise interest rates until 2016. Given the large hiring gains this spring, the Fed may choose to ignore that recommendation. U.S. employers added 280,000…

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Economic Update 06/01/2015

By Robert Pagliarini on June 1, 2015

THREE KEY REAL ESTATE INDICATORS IMPRESS All of a sudden, the housing market looks much healthier. The Census Bureau reported a 6.8% jump in new home buying in April, and the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index improved 3.4% in that month to 108.7 (its best reading since May 2006). The…

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Economic Update 05/18/15

By Robert Pagliarini on May 18, 2015

RETAIL SALES WERE FLAT IN APRIL Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast only a 0.1% advance, so this news was no shock. Still, it was disappointing after the (revised) 1.1% gain noted by the Commerce Department for March. The year-over-year improvement in the pace of retail sales was just 0.9%; last August, it reached 5.0%.…

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Economic Update 05/11/15

By Robert Pagliarini on May 11, 2015

HIRING REBOUNDS IN APRIL Employers added 223,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department noted Friday. That news made the March payroll gain of 85,000 look like an aberration. The main jobless rate fell to a 7-year low of 5.4% in April, and the U-6 rate tracking the total unemployed ticked down to 10.8%; the…

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Economic Update 05/04/15

By Robert Pagliarini on May 5, 2015

PERSONAL SPENDING IMPROVES, Q1 GDP POOR Consumer spending rose 0.4% in March, the Commerce Department noted; that doubled the February advance. Personal incomes were flat, however. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said the economy grew 0.2% in the first quarter; in better news, private-sector wages rose 2.8% in Q1. Another major indicator stayed flat in…

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Economic Update 04/27/15

By Robert Pagliarini on April 27, 2015

NEW HOME SALES DROP, RESALES CLIMB March brought a 6.1% advance for existing home sales according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened with a 4.6-month inventory of homes for resale, which is underneath the 6-month level characteristic of a thriving housing market. New home purchases tumbled 11.4% in March after a great February;…

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