Economy News

Russian Economic Measures May Prevent Collapse

Russian Economic Measures May Prevent Collapse

ECONOMY

  • Central bank takes reparative measures
  • Economy different than 1998 and 2008
  • Several factors lead to decline of ruble

The Russian ruble has fallen 50% in 2014, but measures taken by Russia’s central bank may prevent it from falling further.

The central bank eased regulations including allowing lenders to use last quarter’s exchange rate for some foreign-exchange transactions and, not taking provisions against weakening assets and loans. In addition, the Russian Finance Ministry plans to sell some of its $7 billion in foreign-exchange holdings, and interest rates were raised to 17%.

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June Consumer Confidence Rose .6 Points on Index

June Consumer Confidence Rose .6 Points on Index

ECONOMY

  • Confidence the highest since last July
  • New jobs added in first half
  • Consumers estimate personal finances will remain stagnant

American consumer confidence rose .6 points to 82.5 on the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey's consumer sentiment index for June.

June’s confidence is the highest since July 2013 when it reached 85.1. Still, June’s figure is significant, survey director Richard Curtin says, because the index has not changed much over the past six months.

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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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