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Economic Update 01/26/15

By Robert Pagliarini on January 26, 2015

A RISE IN HOME BUYING Existing home sales were up 2.4% in December and 3.5% for 2014. In its latest report, the National Association of Realtors noted a median sale price of $208,500, 5.8% above a year before. The sales pace in the last half of 2014 was 8% better than in the first half,…

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Economic Update 01/12/15

By Robert Pagliarini on January 12, 2015

ANOTHER GOOD JOBS REPORT America’s best year for hiring since 2000 wrapped up with 252,000 more people finding work in December. Labor Department data showed the jobless rate declining to 5.6% last month (the U-6 rate tracking the unemployed and underemployed decreased to 11.2%). The economy added 2.53 million non-farm payroll jobs in 2014, representing…

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Economic Update 01/05/15

By Robert Pagliarini on January 5, 2015

LATEST ISM FACTORY PMI IS A LETDOWN The 3.2-point December descent of the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index may not be as troubling as it first appeared to Wall Street. Purchasing managers surveyed by ISM noted that labor disputes at west coast ports held up raw material and hard goods shipments last month. At…

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Economic Update 12/29/14

By Robert Pagliarini on December 29, 2014

THE ECONOMY IS BOOMING Looking at two vital indicators, it becomes hard to draw any other conclusion. In its final estimate, the Commerce Department put Q3 growth at 5.0% – the best quarterly GDP since Q3 2003, following a 4.6% expansion in Q2. Consumer spending was up 3.2% in the third quarter, business investment up…

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Economic Update 12/23/14

By Robert Pagliarini on December 23, 2014

ONE WORD TURNS STOCKS AROUND That word was “patient,” and it was found in the Federal Reserve’s December 17 policy statement. The Federal Open Market Committee again pledged to take “a considerable time” to raise interest rates in the absence of easing, but added that it would also be “patient” in making a move. At…

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Economic Update 12/15/14

By Robert Pagliarini on December 16, 2014

AMERICANS BUY MORE, SENTIMENT INDEX SOARS Commerce Department data showed retail sales jumping 0.7% for November – the best monthly advance recorded in a year. More good news came from the University of Michigan – its initial December consumer sentiment index came in at 93.8, way up from 88.8 at the end of last month.…

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Economic Update 12/08/14

By Robert Pagliarini on December 8, 2014

ECONOMY ADDS 321,000 JOBS November 2014 was the best month for hiring since January 2012. Analysts polled by MarketWatch had projected payrolls expanding by 235,000 jobs last month, and that forecast was trumped. While seasonal jobs constituted 50,000 of the new positions, professional and business hires comprised 86,000 more. The Labor Department also found average…

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Economic Update 12/01/14

By Robert Pagliarini on December 1, 2014

CAUTIOUS SPENDING, BUT IMPRESSIVE GROWTH Personal income and personal spending both rose 0.2% in October, according to the Commerce Department. Not too impressive? Maybe, but the federal government’s second estimate of Q3 GDP was. Pair the newly revised 3.9% reading with the final 4.6% mark for Q2, and you get the best 6 months for…

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Economic Update 11/17/14

By Robert Pagliarini on November 18, 2014

RETAIL SALES REBOUND FROM SEPTEMBER SLUMP The 0.3% October gain announced by the Commerce Department exactly offset the September decline. Below the headline number, core retail sales (minus auto buying) also rose 0.3% last month. Sales increased in 11 of 13 categories; online retailers saw a 1.9% boost to lead the pack. Annually, overall retail…

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Economic Update 11/11/14

By Robert Pagliarini on November 11, 2014

UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN TO 5.8% America’s jobless rate dipped 0.1% in October as companies hired 214,000 new workers. Analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected no improvement. In another nice development, the U-6 rate measuring underemployment plus unemployment fell 0.3% last month to 11.5%, 2.2% lower than a year before. Additionally, the Labor Department…

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