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Consumer Spending

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BUSINESS
May 27, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Consumer spending in April rose 1.1 percent, the sharpest one-month increase in nearly a year, the Commerce Department said yesterday. But much of last month's growth was attributed to an increase in auto sales because of rebates, low-interest loans and other industry incentives. Another report from the Commerce Department showed that growth in personal income slowed for the third consecutive month in April. Personal income, which includes wages and salaries, business profits, dividends, interest and government benefits, rose only 0.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $4.37 trillion.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2011 | By Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - For the first time in a year, Americans have stopped spending more. Consumer spending failed to budge from April to May, evidence that high gasoline prices and unemployment are squeezing household budgets. When adjusted for inflation, spending actually dropped 0.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported Monday. April's consumer spending figures were revised to show a similar decline when adjusting for inflation. It marked the first two-month decline in inflation-adjusted spending since April 2009.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2011 | By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Americans are earning and spending more, but a lot of the extra income is going down their gas tanks. Gas prices have drained more than half the extra cash Americans are getting this year from a cut in Social Security taxes. Unlike some other kinds of spending, paying more for gas doesn't help the economy much. That's because most of the money goes overseas, and higher prices leave people with less money to buy appliances, computers, plane tickets, and other items that can be postponed.
BUSINESS
November 28, 1991 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Consumers, more fearful now about the economy's future than they were during the 1982 recession, cut their spending sharply during October, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Consumer spending normally is the fuel for two-thirds of the nation's economy, and last month's stall led many economists to warn that business conditions were stagnating. "It looks to me like we're about to enter the 17th month of recession next month," said Allen Sinai, chief economist for Boston Co. "It's shallow, but it's extended.
BUSINESS
October 27, 1987 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Consumer spending fell in September for the first time in eight months, the Commerce Department reported yesterday. Economists said the slumping stock market probably means that further reductions are in store. Although personal income rose by $25.4 billion, or a strong 0.7 percent, spending fell by $16.1 billion or 0.5 percent to an annual rate of $3,010.2 billion as consumers bought fewer cars, the government said. Analysts said that the September setback in spending probably would be followed by even worse news in the months ahead because of the jolt to consumer confidence from the huge declines in the stock market.
BUSINESS
May 27, 2011 | By Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg News
Growth in the nation's economy cooled in the first quarter of the year as consumer spending - the biggest driver - was held back by rising food and fuel costs. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the January-March quarter, down from 3.1 percent in the previous three months, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Another factor in the GDP slowdown was continuing high unemployment, and a second report Thursday showed that more people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks and evidence that the job market is still sluggish.
BUSINESS
October 28, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Consumer spending rose at the slowest pace in a year in September, growing by 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said yesterday. The department also said Hurricane Hugo cut the rate of growth in Americans' personal income in half last month to a scant 0.3 percent. "September marks the beginning of the end of the consumer revival," said economist Allen Sinai of the Boston Co. "Because of sluggish income growth and caution in spending, consumers will hunker down, especially on big-ticket items.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2004 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
Yesterday's economic news was both busy and contradictory. Reports showed that consumers' spending was disappointing in November, but their confidence was rising - and housing sales plummeted, but factory orders soared. Finally, new claims for unemployment benefits rose by slightly more than expected. The day's batch of economic reports, though sending mixed signals, painted a picture of a modestly growing economy, analysts said. "Tie a bow around it - I'll take it home," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics, in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
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BUSINESS
August 9, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
When it comes to income and wealth, Pennsylvania is a step behind - once again. A new report analyzing consumer spending in the 50 states and the District of Columbia finds Pennsylvania comfortably ensconced in the second tier. It is behind New Jersey and such high fliers as the nation's capital, New York state, with its Wall Street revenue, and even North Dakota, where a boom in energy development has boosted personal spending. But it is ahead of its Midwestern neighbor, Ohio, and such states as Illinois and Rhode Island, the sick man of New England.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2013 | By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Americans stepped up purchases at retail businesses in May, spending more on cars, home improvement, and sporting goods. The gain shows that consumers remain resilient despite higher taxes and could drive faster growth later this year. The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales increased 0.6 percent in May from April. That's up from a 0.1 percent gain the previous month and is the fastest pace since February. The gain was led by a 1.8 percent jump in auto sales, the biggest increase in six months.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2013 | By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.4 percent annual rate from January through March, slightly slower than initially estimated. Consumer spending was stronger than first thought, but businesses restocked more slowly, and state and local government spending cuts were deeper. The Commerce Department said Thursday that economic growth in the first quarter was only marginally below the 2.5 percent annual rate the government estimated last month. That's still much faster than the 0.4 percent growth during the October-December quarter.
NEWS
May 30, 2013 | By Christopher S. Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Home prices are surging, job growth is strengthening, and stocks are setting record highs. All of which explains why Americans are more hopeful about the economy than at any point in five years. Investors on Tuesday celebrated the latest buoyant reports on consumer confidence and housing prices, which together suggest that growth could accelerate in the second half of 2013. Greater confidence could spur people to spend more and help offset tax increases and federal spending cuts.
BUSINESS
April 19, 2013 | By Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A strengthening housing recovery and robust auto sales contributed to moderate growth across the United States in late February and March, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. All of the Fed's 12 banking districts grew moderately and growth accelerated in two districts - New York and Dallas - from January and early February. In the Philadelphia region, the Fed said business activity maintained a "modest pace of growth" evident earlier. "In particular, general services, staffing, tourism, and commercial real estate leasing continued to expand at modest rates," the survey said, while retail activity and residential construction in the area appeared to be slowing.
NEWS
July 7, 2012 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Three years after the official end of the recession, the nation's payrolls added 80,000 jobs in June, well short of the 100,000 to 150,000 jobs economists say are necessary each month to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. The recession, which rocked the nation's economy and is still influencing business and consumer spending, began in December 2007 and ended, officially, in June 2009.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2012 | By Derek Kravitz, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A stock-market rally at the end of last year helped Americans rebuild more of the wealth they lost during the recession - a trend that carried over into 2012. The added wealth led households to borrow more for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis began, even as home values fell again. It is a notable shift that shows many consumers are finally feeling more confident about spending after years of paring debt. Household net worth increased 2.1 percent, to $58.5 trillion in the October-December quarter, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2011 | By Anne D'Innocenzio, Associated Press
The holiday shopping season came in two parts, with a lull in between. A spending surge in the two weeks before Christmas, coupled with a record-breaking Black Friday, gave retailers solid numbers. The doldrums between the buying binges showed how shoppers have learned to wait for the discounts they know will come. For Dec. 1-24, spending rose 4.7 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the research firm ShopperTrak. In November, it rose 4.1 percent. A 4 percent increase is considered a successful season; a combined figure for the entire season won't be available until after Dec. 31. The increase is good news for the economy because it shows shoppers were willing and able to fund a holiday splurge.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2011 | By Bill Dunkelberg, For The Inquirer
Our federal debt has now topped $15 trillion, a record 57 percent of households characterize current economic policy as "poor," and only 7 percent say it is "good. " In fact, there is really very little in the way of positives as people and businesses peer into the future. Confidence in the Federal Reserve has plummeted - by 60 percent, according to the University of Michigan consumer-sentiment survey. Consumers are clearly concerned about the future, afraid that we will fall back into recession.
BUSINESS
November 16, 2011 | By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Consumers are giving a modest lift to the economy. They spent more on trucks, electronics, and building supplies in October to boost retail sales for the fifth straight month. The gains provide an encouraging start for the October-December quarter. They come just as separate reports show that wholesale prices are flattening and U.S. shoppers are spending more at Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. "The consumer has to come through this holiday season if we are going to get back to more decent growth rates, and the early readings are those households have hit the stores quite strongly," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Bucks County.
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