US Economy Grew At 3.2 Percent Rate In Q4

Seal of the United States Department of Commerce

Seal of the United States Department of Commerce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter on the strength of the strongest consumer spending in three years, an encouraging sign for 2014.

The fourth-quarter increase followed a 4.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter, when the economy benefited from a buildup in business stockpiles.

For 2013 as a whole, the economy grew a tepid 1.9 percent, weaker than the 2.8 percent increase in 2012, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Growth was held back last year by higher taxes and federal spending cuts.

With that drag diminished, many economists think growth could top 3 percent in 2014. That would be the best performance since the recession ended in mid-2009.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140130_ap_ef9a502bf87446ee8b002fe557b26ec6.html#wThbbpJD49oI0jQw.99

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U.S. Economy Grows At Surprising 2.8 Percent Rate

Seal of the United States Department of Commerce

Seal of the United States Department of Commerce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate from July through September, a surprising acceleration ahead of the 16-day partial government shutdown. But much of the strength came from a buildup in company stockpiling.

Home construction also rose, and state and local governments spent at their fastest pace in four years. But businesses spent less on equipment, federal spending fell and consumers spent at a slower pace. All are cautionary signs for the final three months of the year.

Overall, growth increased in the third quarter from a 2.5 percent annual rate in the April-June period to the fastest pace in a year, the Commerce Department said today.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=518462

Signs Of Declining Economic Security Widespread

President Barack Obama announces the Economic ...

President Barack Obama announces the Economic Recovery Advisory Board. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — Four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.

Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures.  Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987.  In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/710055/Signs-of-declining-economic-security-widespread

US employers Add 175K Jobs, Rate Up To 7.6 Percent

(AP) The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, a gain that shows employers are hiring at a still-modest but steady pace despite government spending cuts and higher taxes.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday.  The rate rose because more people began looking for work, a healthy sign.  About three-quarters found jobs.

The government revised the job figures for the previous two months.  April’s gain was lowered to 149,000 from 165,000.  March’s was increased slightly to 142,000 from 138,000.  The net loss was 12,000 jobs.

Stocks jumped when the market opened at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, an hour after the report was released.  The Dow Jones industrial average surged 150 points in the first hour of trading.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/apnews/951674514947994523/US-employers-add-175K-jobs-rate-up-to-7.6-pct.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.7 Percent

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.

The Labor Department‘s report today offered a mixed picture of the economy.

Hiring remained steady during the storm and in the face of looming tax increases. But the government said employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than it initially estimated.

And the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November from 7.9 percent in October mostly because more people stopped looking for work and weren’t counted as unemployed.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=433757

US Economic Growth Slowed To 1.5 Percent Rate In Second Quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.5 percent from April through June, as Americans cut back sharply on spending.  The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling three years after the recession ended.

The Commerce Department also said Friday that the economy grew a little better than previously thought in the January-March quarter.  It raised its estimate to a 2 percent rate, up from 1.9 percent.

Growth at or below 2 percent isn’t enough to lower the unemployment rate, which was 8.2 percent last month. And most economists don’t expect growth to pick up much in the second half of the year.  Europe’s financial crisis and a looming budget crisis in the U.S. are expected to slow business investment further.

Read more: http://hosted2.ap.org/PASCR/a5050f4ad4f44dafab85bb41a15281cf/Article_2012-07-27-US-Economy-GDP/id-a8fa417340a94237b704b53fa94dd871

Unemployment Stuck At 8.2% As Hiring Lags In June

Non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts

U.S. employers hired at a dismal pace in June, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to boost the economy and further imperiling President Barack Obama‘s chances of reelection in November.

The Labor Department said on Friday non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts though a tad higher than a revised May reading of 77,000.

Job creation during the month wasn’t enough to bring down the country’s lofty 8.2 percent unemployment rate. The report appeared sure to fuel concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is shifting the U.S. economy into low gear.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/chi-june-unemployment-20120706,0,6588228.story

Economic Growth Slowed In First Quarter

Container of Gasoline

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High gas prices, bad weather, the housing slump and a myriad of other problems kept economic growth at bay for the first quarter of 2011.  The U.S. economy only grew by 1.8% during the first quarter of 2011 as opposed to a growth rate around 3% for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Experts say this is “temporary” and we should expect to see economic growth at 3% for the rest of the year.  Experts are also saying gas prices should stabilize, but gas prices have gone up .30 cents since the end of the first quarter.  The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.88 as of today.

What can we do?  Cut back unnecessary spending and hope for the best.

I can say from personal experience, at least around Pottstown, that people were out in force shopping for Easter.  Shopping centers, malls, grocery stores and restaurants benefitted from the spring holiday.  One local store said their sales were at Christmas levels over the Easter weekend.