Tag Archives: gas prices

Frightening Consumer Spending Data

Personal consumer outlays dropped 0.2% in September from August, reinforcing the negative read that the recent retail sales report provided for us. A shortfall in retail sales in September was one of the factors that triggered a selloff in the stock market earlier this month when traders feared that the U.S. consumer couldn’t play the [...]

Real GDP Holds Strong

Real GDP rose 3.5% in the third quarter after rebounding at a 4.6% pace in the second quarter. We have been trying to regain ground lost to unusually harsh winter weather in the first quarter of the year when real GDP declined by 2.1%. Most components of real GDP decelerated after the catch-up we saw [...]

Retail Sales Disappoint

Total retail sales slipped 0.3% in September after surging in August. A drop in vehicle sales from a post-recession high was one reason for the weakness. Core retail sales, which exclude the volatile vehicle and gasoline components, also dipped slightly during the month. That was despite a sharp drop in prices at the pump and [...]

Prices Rise on Higher Airfares, Gasoline Prices

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3% in April, driven by outsize gains in gasoline prices (other energy prices dropped during the month), airfares and, to a lesser extent, new and used cars. Food prices also picked up as the effects of the drought out West and late start to the planting season in the [...]

CPI Rebounds from Winter Lull

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) roseĀ  0.2% in March from February, well in-line with expectations and was up 1.5% from a year ago, a little hotter than we saw just a month ago. The portions of the country that escaped the polar vortex suffered a drought, which is pushing up feed prices. In response, prices [...]

Winter Chill on Incomes Doesn’t Stop Spending

Disposable personal incomes edged down 0.2% in December, after being adjusted for inflation. A shortfall in farm income and a sharp moderation in wage gains in the service sector accounted for much of the weakness; the softness in the service sector was likely exacerbated by unusually harsh winter weather as the number of people unable [...]

Harsh Weather Prompts Spending on Winter Clothing, Food

Retail sales rose a modest 0.2% in December, as unusually harsh winter weather put a lid on foot traffic at car dealers. Sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up a much more respectable 0.7%, as early snow and freezing temperatures left consumers scrambling to snap up coats and sweaters and stock up at grocery [...]