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Economic Update 04/21/15

By Robert Pagliarini on April 21, 2015

MODERATE INFLATION RESUMES The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% for a second consecutive month in March, as did the Producer Price Index (in a marked departure from its 0.5% February retreat). Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast an 0.3% March advance in both the headline CPI and PPI. GROUNDBREAKING UP 2.0% FOR MARCH Housing industry…

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Economic Update 04/14/15

By Robert Pagliarini on April 14, 2015

SERVICE SECTOR CONTINUES TO EXPAND At 56.5, the Institute for Supply Management’s March non-manufacturing index came in 0.4 points beneath its February reading but still indicated healthy expansion for the service industry. While business activity fell by 1.9%, new orders improved 1.1% and new export orders 6.0%. America’s service sector grew for a 62nd straight…

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Economic Update 04/07/15

By Robert Pagliarini on April 7, 2015

EMPLOYERS ADD JUST 126,000 JOBS IN MARCH What led to this moderation in hiring, which snapped a yearlong streak of payrolls expanding by 200,000 or more per month? Are dollar strength and low oil prices now hampering corporate profits? Did the weather have an impact? Whatever the underlying causes, the Labor Department’s March report was…

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Economic Update 03/30/15

By Robert Pagliarini on March 30, 2015

HOME SALES PICK UP Existing home sales accelerated 1.2% to an annual pace of 4.88 million in February, the National Association of Realtors announced. Sales had slowed markedly in January. February also brought a big jump in new home buying – a 7.8% increase according to the Census Bureau, taking the year-over-year gain to 24.8%.…

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Economic Update 03/23/15

By Robert Pagliarini on March 24, 2015

FED MAY WAIT LONGER TO TIGHTEN March’s Federal Reserve policy statement provided less forward guidance than many investors expected. As anticipated, the word “patient” disappeared – but the Federal Open Market Committee also lowered its 2015 GDP forecast (to a range of 2.3-2.7%) and nearly halved its 2015 inflation projection (to a range of 0.6-0.8%).…

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Economic Update 03/16/15

By Robert Pagliarini on March 16, 2015

WHERE ARE THE SHOPPERS? Retail sales were off again in February – the 0.6% decline reported by the Census Bureau was the third straight monthly retreat. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com anticipated an 0.4% advance. This severe winter may have prompted households to spend more on utilities and services than on retail purchases. Another closely watched…

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Economic Update 03/09/15

By Robert Pagliarini on March 10, 2015

GREAT JOBS REPORT MIGHT GIVE FED A SIGNAL Good news on Main Street was not so good for Wall Street. Non-farm employers added 295,000 new workers to payrolls in February, according to the Labor Department; the headline unemployment rate fell to 5.5% while the U-6 rate measuring the unemployed plus underemployed declined to 11.0%. Professional…

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Economic Update 03/02/15

By Robert Pagliarini on March 3, 2015

CPI SHOWS ANNUAL DEFLATION Dipping 0.7% in January, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index posted a 0.1% annual retreat – its first yearly decline since 2009. As the core CPI rose 0.2% in January and gas prices are moving north, the headline CPI’s stint in deflation territory may be short-lived. The federal government also announced…

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Economic Update 02/23/15

By Robert Pagliarini on February 23, 2015

GREECE DEAL, FED MINUTES REASSURE INVESTORS On Friday, Greece reached an agreement with eurozone finance ministers to extend its economic bailout through June. The four extra months of financial aid depend on reforms that the country will present to its creditors this week (they must be approved by April). Stateside, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s…

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Economic Update 02/02/15

By Robert Pagliarini on February 2, 2015

FOURTH QUARTER SAW 2.6% GROWTH Given the final 5.0% GDP reading for Q3, this initial Commerce Department estimate displeased many investors – even though the personal spending rate rose an impressive 4.3% in Q4. Investors also disliked the 3.4% overall dip in hard goods orders for December, which followed a 2.1% descent in November. HOUSEHOLDS…

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