Tag Archives: gas prices

Inventories Still a Problem

Real GDP was revised up to 2.1% in the third quarter from an initial estimate of 1.5%. Unfortunately, almost all of those “gains” can be attributed to larger-than-previously reported inventories, which will now have to be drained in the fourth quarter. This could further deepen holiday discounts

Retail Sales Better than Headline Indicates

Retail sales rose what appeared to be a tepid 0.1% in October but, as the debates have revealed, appearances can often be deceiving. Vehicle sales remained unusually strong after an already robust September, which dampened month-to-month gains, while gasoline station sales continued to fall on lower prices at the pump. Core retail sales, which exclude [...]

The U.S. Consumer is Back

Personal consumption expenditures surged at a 0.9% pace in May and were revised up for the month of April. Personal incomes jumped at a 0.5% rate and were also revised up in April. The data on May, coupled with upward revisions to April, confirm

Prices Jump on Gas and Airfares

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in May, driven by a sharp increase in prices at the pump. The overall index, however, remained unchanged from a year ago

Saving Rate Up, Inflation Slow

Income growth jumped a better-than-expected 0.4% in April. Disposable income rose a slightly more moderate 0.3%. All of those gains, however, were saved as consumers essentially tread water in terms of spending during the month. Indeed, spending actually dropped slightly,

Consumers Catch Up on Spending

Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4% in March after being revised up slightly for the previous month. The increase was 0.2% faster than the pace of inflation. Personal disposable income growth actually contracted slightly

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 [...]

Income Continues to Outpace Spending

Real disposable income surged 0.9% in January, extending gains that we saw at the end of 2014. Improving labor market conditions, combined with a pickup in average hourly earnings (driven in part by increases in the minimum wage) and plummeting prices at the gas pump enhanced

Inventories Less of a Problem in Fourth Quarter

Real GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the fourth quarter from an initial estimate of 2.6%. A sharp downward revision to inventories was the primary reason for the revision, which leaves less of an overhang for producers to drain in early 2015. Imports were also revised up, reflecting the phenomenal strength of consumer spending

Energy Prices Pull CPI Lower

The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.7% in January but only 0.1% from a year ago. Falling energy prices were the primary reason prices fell