Tag Archives: consumer
Personal consumption expenditures declined 0.2% in April, after being revised down slightly for March. Inflation abated, however, which means that consumer spending squeaked out a small, 0.1% increase after adjusting for price changes. Falling prices at the pump (everywhere but in Chicago, where refinery problems raised prices) pushed inflation down during the month. We also [...]
Real GDP for the first quarter was revised down slightly on larger declines in government spending. Those cuts in government will persist into the second and third quarters. It looks like sequestration (automatic spending cuts) could easily stay put in 2014.
In March total consumer credit outstanding posted its 19th consecutive month of growth. Total Credit expanded by $8.0 bil., comprised of a $9.7 bil. expansion in nonrevolving and a contraction of $1.7 bil. in revolving credit (see chart below). On the surface this data appears promising:
Consumer sentiment jumped to 83.7 in May, the highest level since July 2007. A pickup in net worth via the stock market, home values and falling prices at the pump all helped fuel the gains. Consumers’ assessments of their personal finances jumped to 97.5, the highest level since late 2007. The gains, however, were concentrated [...]
There are multiple inflation measures, the most used and least accurate of which is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is measured from a fixed basket of goods; prices are adjusted for quality improvements where possible. Historically, the overall index has converged to the core index, so excluding food and energy prices is important [...]
Today’s data confirm a picture of moderation in growth this spring. Housing starts were significantly lower than expected in April at an annualized rate of 853,000, while the data for March was revised down. The largest drop was in multi-family units, which plummeted 142,000 units over the month, with declines heavily concentrated in the South.
Retail sales squeaked out a modest increase of 0.1% in April, foiling expectations for a decline. Moreover, the biggest decline in the data was in gasoline station sales, where prices were falling. That freed up cash for consumers to spend elsewhere. Core retail sales, which exclude autos and gasoline, were up 0.6%, compounded by upward [...]
Personal income increased at a modest 0.2% pace in March, slower than most were expecting. The moderation was widespread with rental income the only category to remain resilient, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone paying rent. Consumer spending also increased at a 0.2% pace, but most were expecting a pause. The largest upside [...]
The economy expanded at a 2.5% pace in the first quarter, more than half of one percent below expectations. Stronger-than-expected increases in consumer spending, the housing market and a rebuilding of inventories were tempered by tepid business investment and a sharp decline in government spending. The trade deficit also widened, as imports outpaced the gain [...]
Consumer credit continues to expand, led by robust gains in non-revolving credit, especially student loans. Revolving credit, such as credit card balances, posts meager gains in February.