U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves In February On Job Outlook

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment improved in February, buoyed by signs of increased hiring, though worries heightened about a decline in future income, a survey released on Friday.

The Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment rose to 76.3 from 73.8 in January, topping economists’ forecasts of 74.8.

The barometer of current economic conditions rose to 88 from 85, while the gauge of consumer expectations rose to 68.7 from 66.6.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-us-economy-20130215,0,6427243.story

Tree Pollen Found In Pittsburgh Air In February, Earliest Ever Recorded

A Andrena sp. bee with a full load of pollen o...

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The pollen counter on the roof of Allegheny General Hospital detected tree pollen in the air Thursday, the first time it’s been recorded there in February.

That’s the harbinger of an early season for spring allergy sufferers and the result of a warmer-than-normal winter, said AGH allergist David Skoner.

“Moderate counts of tree [pollen] already!!! Wow!,” Dr. Skoner, director of AGH’s Division of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology, wrote in an email after the pollen count was measured by division research associate Asha Patel.

Tree pollen counts usually start in early April, peak in late April and early May and disappear by Memorial Day.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12056/1212557-114.stm#ixzz1nQ4er7Nc