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Economic Update 11/03/14

By Robert Pagliarini on November 3, 2014

Q3 GDP IMPRESSES, PERSONAL SPENDING DECLINES Good news: America’s economy expanded 3.5% in the third quarter. The Commerce Department’s initial estimate topped the 3.1% consensus forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch, and offset September retreats in overall hard goods orders (1.3%) and personal spending (0.2%). Personal incomes rose 0.2% last month, the least since December;…

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Economic Update 10.30.14

By Robert Pagliarini on October 30, 2014

GAINS IN NEW & EXISTING HOME SALES According to the National Association of Realtors, the pace of resales improved 2.4% in September. NAR reported fewer sales of distressed properties and more home sales to families versus investors. The Census Bureau measured only a 0.2% rise in new home buying last month, but a 17.0% annualized…

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Economic Update 10/22/14

By Robert Pagliarini on October 22, 2014

CONSUMER SENTIMENT: A PLEASANT SURPRISE Ebola fears and a choppy stock market haven’t quite rattled household optimism. At a reading of 86.4 (its highest in more than seven years), the University of Michigan’s initial October consumer sentiment index confounded analysts who expected a decrease from September’s final 84.6 mark. Consensus forecasts from MarketWatch and Briefing.com…

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Economic Update 10/15/14

By Robert Pagliarini on October 15, 2014

WHEN WILL THE MARKET CALM DOWN? Earnings didn’t preoccupy investors last week; Europe did. The International Monetary Fund warned that the euro area could enter another recession; European Central Bank president Mario Draghi urged EU member nations to go in for quantitative easing, but German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble disagreed. IMF and Federal Reserve officials…

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Economic Update 10/06/14

By Robert Pagliarini on October 7, 2014

JOBLESS RATE DECLINES TO 5.9% Unemployment lessened another 0.2% in September as firms added 248,000 new workers to their payrolls. The nation hasn’t seen joblessness of less than 6% since July 2008. In presenting its latest report, the Labor Department also revised summer hiring totals: the August job gain went from 142,000 to 180,000, and…

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Economic Update 10/01/14

By Robert Pagliarini on October 1, 2014

NEW HOME SALES JUMP, RESALES DIP Existing home sales slumped 1.8% in August – their first retreat since March, according to the National Association of Realtors. This followed gains of 2% or more in each of the previous three months. News about new home purchases was better: the Census Bureau recorded an 18.0% increase for…

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Economic Update 09/02/14

By Robert Pagliarini on September 2, 2014

WHY DID CONSUMER SPENDING DECLINE IN JULY? Last month’s 0.1% dip surprised analysts. In inflation-adjusted terms, the Commerce Department measured the pullback at 0.2%. Household confidence, though, continues to increase. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index finished August at 82.5, up from 81.8 at the end of July and refuting the Wall Street Journal…

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Ecomonic Update 08/25/14

By Robert Pagliarini on August 25, 2014

A GAIN IN EXISTING HOME SALES In its July report, the National Association of Realtors recorded a 2.4% monthly increase in existing home sales. The good news from July took the annualized sales pace up to 5.15 million. According to the Census Bureau, July also saw a 15.7% leap in housing starts and an 8.1%…

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Economic Update 08/18/14

By Robert Pagliarini on August 18, 2014

RETAIL SALES COOL OFF IN JULY They were flat according to the Commerce Department, with core retail sales (excluding food, car, gasoline and home improvement purchases) up just 0.1%. Economists polled by Reuters believed overall retail sales would advance 0.2% last month. Is this a signal that Q3 growth won’t come near Q2 growth? It…

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Economic Update 08/11/14

By Robert Pagliarini on August 11, 2014

U.S. SERVICE SECTOR IS BOOMING The Institute for Supply Management’s July non-manufacturing PMI came in at a stellar 58.7, indicating rapid expansion. It hadn’t been that high since December 2005, and its new orders sub-index reached a peak unseen since August 2005. On Wall Street, some investors worried that the Federal Reserve would take the…

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