December 16, 2014
TWO WEEKS AGO, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that overall shopper traffic on Black Friday weekend - Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Nov. 30 - dropped more than 5 percent from 2013. Actual spending was expected to decline by more than 6 percent from 2013. On Thursday, after a stronger-than-expected retail report from the Commerce Department, the NRF said that lower prices at the gas pump put more money in the pockets of consumers and that its forecast "is right on track" for 4 percent holiday-sales growth.
December 25, 2013 |
Target Corp., the nation's second-largest discount chain, continued to reel from its disclosure last week of a huge data breach that compromised 40 million credit- or debit-card accounts during the holiday season. Shoppers posted comments last weekend on Target's Facebook page saying the retailer needed to reissue its REDcard credit and debit cards. There were also mentions of long waits for customer service. Craig Johnson, president of the retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners, said Monday that REDcard usage fell over the weekend and more Target shoppers bought with cash.
July 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy appears to be weaker than many economists had thought after a report Monday showed consumers spent cautiously in June at retail businesses. Americans bought more cars and trucks, furniture, and clothes. But they cut back on almost everywhere else. They spent less at restaurants and bars, reduced purchases at home improvement stores, and bought fewer computers and electronics. Overall retail spending rose 0.4 percent in June from May, the Commerce Department said.
July 13, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The stock market, which has been marching higher for a week, got extra fuel Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would keep supporting the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 surged to all-time highs. A mix of additional economic news - much of it positive - added octane to the market's tank. Retail sales surged in June. The Treasury reported a rare monthly surplus. Foreclosures fell. And while new jobless claims rose, the numbers reflected steady hiring.
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.
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.
March 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Thanks to solid job creation, Americans spent more at retailers in February despite smaller paychecks. The surprisingly strong increase helped allay fears that higher Social Security taxes and gasoline prices might chill spending early this year. Much of the increase in February retail sales compared with January reflected the higher gas prices. But even excluding the volatile categories of gas, autos, and building supply stores, so-called core retail sales rose strongly.
March 15, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The Dow Jones industrial average notched its ninth gain in a row Wednesday, its longest winning streak in more than 16 years. The index edged up 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to 14,455.28. The Dow has risen every day this month and is up 10.3 percent this year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to close Wednesday at 1,554.52. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.80 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,245.12. Demand for stocks has been propelled this year by optimism that the housing market is recovering and that companies have started to hire.
January 17, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Stocks edged higher on Wall Street after a rally in retail stocks offset concerns about flaring tensions in Washington over increasing the country's borrowing limit. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 27.57 points at 13,534.89. The Dow moved higher in the late afternoon after being down as much as 62 points in the early going. The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 1.66 points to 1,472.34, a five-year high. The Nasdaq composite index, dragged down by a fall in Apple, fell 6.72 points to 3,110.78.
December 27, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers' rising uncertainty about the economy. A report that tracks spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent, compared with last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 percent to 4 percent.