Tag Archives: consumer

Inflation Looks Hotter than it is

The Consumer Price Index edged up a modest 0.1% in April, with retreating energy prices offsetting some of the increase in services. Core CPI (non- food and non-energy) rose a more than expected 0.3% in April. Almost all of the acceleration in inflation could be traced to the medical services component, which has been decelerating [...]

Another Dismal Report

Industrial production dropped 0.3% in April. The decline for March was not as severe as originally reported, but still lower. Losses in the mining and utilities sector are driving the drop in industrial production. That said, the weakness was broad-based

My favorite chart from this morning’s CPI release

Consumer Prices in Line with Expectations

The headline numbers in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% in March, buoyed by higher energy prices, mainly motor fuel, which rose 3.9% in March.

Consumers Emerge from Hibernation

Retail sales jumped 0.9% in March, coming in only slightly below the consensus. Gains were driven by big-ticket spending on vehicles and furniture. Pent-up demand and damages created by unusually harsh winter storms helped to spur the rebound in spending. Building materials and garden stores reported higher sales as the temperatures rose and people emerged [...]

Consumers Paid Off Holiday Debt Early in 2015

Consumers took advantage of lower gas prices, paying off their holiday debt a month sooner. In the previous two years, consumers had taken until March to pay off holiday purchases on their credit cards. Earlier in the cycle, when the economy was weaker, it was not until April that consumers paid off their balances from holiday [...]

Saving Rate Rises

Real personal disposable income growth increased at a more muted 0.2% pace in February, on the heels of higher prices at the pump. Revisions to January were to the upside, but only slightly. Overall income growth remained solid during the first two months of the year, in response to solid employment growth and a pickup [...]

Question about consumer spending

I received this question via my Twitter account @DianeSwonk: Is it possible that we don’t see an increase in consumer spending due to consumers increasing savings in case the economy goes south? My reply: That is the question the Federal Reserve is asking as well; the argument against it is that consumer confidence is now [...]

Retail Sales Hit by Heavy Snow

Retail sales fell a disappointing 0.6% in February. Snow days were worse in February than in January (particularly in the South and parts of the West that don’t usually have to deal with snow). The drop in retail sales was driven by a sharp decline in vehicle sales; that also happened last year

Momentum Trumps Lousy Weather

Payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February; that was better than expected given the weather disruptions we experienced across the country, which were worse in February than January. Even after a downward revision to the January data, the quality and quantity of jobs was solid in February. The largest gains in payroll employment occurred in [...]