August 9, 2014 |
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.
June 14, 2013 |
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.
May 31, 2013 |
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.
May 30, 2013 |
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.
April 19, 2013 |
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.
July 7, 2012 |
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.
March 9, 2012 |
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.
December 29, 2011 |
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.
November 21, 2011 |
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.
November 16, 2011 |
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.