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Thread: Latest economic data = GOOD

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA

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    Economy perks up, reports say

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Consumers spent briskly in October, manufacturers gained ground in November, and the business climate showed improvements during the period.

    The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in October, up from 0.6 percent rise in September and the best showing since July.

    Growth in Americans' incomes — the fuel for future spending — jumped 0.6 percent in October as employers added significantly to payrolls. That compared with a 0.2 percent advance in September and marked the biggest increase since May.

    A separate report suggested that manufacturing activity accelerated in November.

    The Institute for Supply Management reported that its main index for measuring industrial activity rose to 57.8 in November, a full point above the level in October. Last month's performance exceeded analysts' forecasts for a reading of 57 and comes after three months of slowing in the rate of manufacturing growth.

    "We are seeing a renewal of vigor in the factory sector," said Steve Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital.

    A reading of 50 or above means manufacturing activity is expanding, while a figure below 50 suggests the sector is contracting.

    Separately, the Federal Reserve, in a survey of business conditions around the country, said 11 of its 12 regions reported expanding activity from mid-October through mid-November, bolstered by strength in manufacturing. Only the Cleveland district reported little change in economic activity during the survey period.

    The Fed's Minneapolis-based district reported that its region "experienced broad-based growth. Consumer spending, manufacturing, construction, energy, mining and agriculture all showed signs of improvement. … Retail hiring was expected to improve." The district encompasses Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, and the northern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan.

    On the consumer front, the latest numbers also were better than economists were expecting. They were forecasting a 0.4 percent rise in consumer spending and a 0.5 percent increase in income growth.

    "Consumers were not deterred by higher oil prices and by consumer confidence numbers that keep on going lower," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. "I've got to believe this gets the fourth quarter off on very solid footings."

    The spending and income figures are not adjusted for price changes.

    When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose by a more moderate — but still healthy — 0.3 percent in October.

    The Federal Reserve, wanting to make sure inflation doesn't become a problem, is expected to boost interest rates for a fifth time this year on Dec. 14.

    An inflation gauge tied to the consumer spending and income report showed that prices rose 0.4 percent in October, up from a tiny 0.1 percent increase in September.

    The Fed survey showed rising demand for manufactured goods, encouraging news for a portion of the economy that has seen the loss of 2.7 million jobs over the past four years.

    There was rising demand for chemicals, food and a variety of products used in the aerospace, agriculture, energy, construction, medical and defense industries, the report said.

    The rebound in manufacturing was helping job markets, and some areas of the country were even experiencing labor shortages for such occupations as accounting, construction and skilled professionals in the energy industry.

    Record farm income is fueling economic growth in a nine-state area of the central United States that includes Minnesota, according to the November Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, also released Wednesday.

    The November business conditions index, a leading economic indicator, rose to a strong 63.8 from October's 61.6, and well above growth-neutral 50, said Ernie Goss, the Creighton University economics professor who compiles the index.

    Firms with strong ties to agriculture, particularly durable-goods manufacturers, reported that the combination of large harvests, normal prices for crops and high prices for livestock are having positive effects on the regional economy.

    In other economic news, construction spending was virtually unchanged in October from the previous month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.01 trillion, a record high. Analysts were expecting a 0.7 percent rise.

    The economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent pace in the third quarter as consumers and businesses spent more freely. Before Wednesday's reports, some analysts said growth in the current October-to-December quarter could slow a bit, while others thought it could be slightly stronger.

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Boiled Peanut, Georgia, USA

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    Peter Navarro predicts US economy will continue to roar in 2020

    LOOKIN' GOOD!!Stock-chart-2.gif
    CRUDE Oil =
    $48.73 a Barrel, Daily Status -$1.17



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