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Boost In US Consumer Spending Linked To Rise in Durable Goods Purchases

Boost In US Consumer Spending Linked To Rise in Durable Goods Purchases

ECONOMY

  • US consumer spending up 0.3%
  • Gains attributed to rise in spending on durable goods and housing
  • US personal income levels up for fourth month in a row, showing largest increase since February

Consumer spending in the US rose by 0.3 % in May as personal income also grew by 0.5 %, which well exceeded the estimated 0.2% increase. These gains, along with a recent drop in unemployment benefit applications, indicate moderate economic recovery in the US. 

The May jump in consumer spending, reported by the US Commerce Department, follows a 0.3% spending decline in April, which marked the largest decline since the final months of 2009. The recent growth was largely aided by a 0.9 % rise in spending on durable goods, such as automobiles.

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India’s Economic Growth Rate Hits Ten-Year Low of 5.3%

India’s Economic Growth Rate Hits Ten-Year Low of 5.3%

ECONOMY

  • India GDP growth of 5.3% parallels figures registered in March
  • Decline caused largely by slow manufacturing, farming output
  • Foreign investment to provide modest recovery by second half of fiscal year

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.3% in the last financial quarter, a figure lower than both the 5.5% registered in June and the projections given by economists in a Reuter’s poll.

This slower-than-anticipated growth marks a ten-year low for India’s economy.

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China's Growth Slump Affects Industries, Global Economy

China's Growth Slump Affects Industries, Global Economy

ECONOMY

  • China's growth slows to 2009 low of 7.6%
  • Factory output and retail sales down
  • China aims to reduce reliance on exports and investments

China's rapid growth rate has now slowed to a three-year low of 7.6%, according to its National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s growth has been decelerating for eight quarters, the longest steady decline since the nation’s government began reporting its gross domestic product (GDP) in 1992.

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US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

ECONOMY

  • S&P Retail Index up 0.8% in March
  • Apparel, discount, department stores see year-on-year increases in March
  • Retailers believe April sales will slow; International Council of Shopping Centers says sales could rise 3% - 4%

Earlier Easter preparations and spring temperatures stirred a spending frenzy as March sales rose for the 13th time in fifteen months. March sales rose 3.9% according to Retail Metrics, a figure higher than the 3.3% analysts were seeking.

Excluding Walgreen's decline, March's total sales reached 6.5%.

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European Production Falls, Recession Fears Brew

European Production Falls, Recession Fears Brew

ECONOMY

  • Europe's PMI falls to 48.7, further contraction will indicate recession
  • Output drops in manufacturing and service industries
  • ECB urges governments to make fiscal changes

Production in Europe's manufacturing and service industries fell in March, suggesting that the eurozone may be sliding back into a recession.

According to private firm Markit Economics, the purchasing managers index, or PMI, for both industries combined fell to a three-year low of 48.7 from 49.3 in February.

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Florida: Sunshine State’s Tourism Market Brighter Than Ever

Florida: Sunshine State’s Tourism Market Brighter Than Ever

ECONOMY

  • Record 85.9 million visitors came to Florida last year
  • Florida tourism continues to outpace rest of US
  • Florida hotel room occupancy rates up 7% so far in 2012 

Florida’s tourism marketing arm Visit Florida reports that regional tourism reached record highs in 2011, logging more visitors than ever: The “Sunshine State” lured 85.9 million travelers last year, exceeding the previous high of 84.5 million in 2007.

There were increases in travel from across the board, including US residents from in-state, from out of Florida and a jarring jump in oversea visitors. Chris Thompson, the agency’s president and chief executive, pointed out that these visitors came despite what he called “challenging economic times.”

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Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Remains Low in US

Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Remains Low in US

ECONOMY

  • Prices up 0.2% last month, lower than predicted
  • Core inflation expected to rise 1.6% but remain below 2%
  • Prices likely to stabilize as employment increases

Consumer prices in the US increased by 0.2% last month, a figure slightly lower than expected.

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is the broadest of three price gauges by the US Labor Department and includes both goods and services. The current rise in consumer prices is due to higher gas, food, rent and clothing prices.

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US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment drops to 8.3%, lowest since February 2009
  • Nasdaq Composite hits 11-year high; Treasury debt prices fall as investor expectations change
  • Political scientists expect employment news to boost Obama's campaign

The jobless rate in the US has dropped to 8.3%, marking the lowest rate in three years, according to US Labor Department data.

Growing at a rate of 200,000 jobs per month, the economy is looking up. Prior to the latest unemployment data, economists had expected stagnant employment growth in January.

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US Production Spikes, Creating American Jobs

US Production Spikes, Creating American Jobs

ECONOMY

  • Factory output grew 0.9% last month
  • World Bank reduces 2012 growth forecast to 2.5% from 3.6%
  • US factories hire 23,000 workers — best job growth since July

American factory output of vehicles, computers and construction material grew last month, resulting in a 0.9% increase in output, according to data released by the Federal Reserve.

Total industrial production, including mines, utilities and factories, grew 0.4% last month. Fourth quarter industrial output was up 3.1% annually for a tenth quarter of consecutive growth.

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Europe Gets New ECB Loans to Promote Lending

Europe Gets New ECB Loans to Promote Lending

ECONOMY

  • European Central Bank lending banks a record $645 billion
  • EU needs over $1 trillion to repay debt
  • EU consumer confidence falls for the 6th-consecutive month

The European Central Bank is lending its banks a record $645 billion to retain credit flow and encourage banks to give loans to businesses and households. 

This new cash flush exceeds the $577 billion lent two-years ago, and is part of the largest European loan operation ever. The money is being lent at the current benchmark interest rate of 1%, with Barclays estimating that the project will release $252 billion into the European economy.

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