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Auto sales keep retail economy in reverse

Soft auto sales dragged down overall retail sales in February and consumers did not spend enough to pick up the slack. Retail sales decreased by one-tenth of a percent from January, according to Commerce Department figures released Wednesday, to a seasonally adjusted $447.31 billion. January retail sales were also one-tenth […]

Housing Starts Down as Builders Can’t Meet Demand

Construction of new homes declined more than expected in February, a result of a steep drop in multi-family construction. February’s housing starts were down 7 percent from January, with a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 1.236 million new units. Those numbers were lower than expected, capping a week of lackluster indications […]

Sluggish Wage Growth Will Likely Continue, Economists Say

The February jobs report to be released tomorrow should answer analysts’ biggest question: are workers finally seeing sustained wage growth, or is low workforce participation slowing things down? Last month’s report showed 200,000 jobs added and a 4.1 percent unemployment rate. Wage growth has lagged during the recovery, finally ticking […]

Real Disposable Income Rises Sharply, Driven by One-Time Bonuses

Personal income increased in January, as employer optimism surrounding the recent tax bill made its way to consumers’ wallets. The 0.4% increase in January released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis exceeded analyst expectations. Disposable personal income, or the money households make after taxes, showed a more dramatic rise […]

Lack of housing supply continues to drive rising home prices

Home prices continued rising during the last month of 2017, but there are early signs they may begin to slow in the coming months. The Case Shiller National Home Price Index jumped 6.3 percent in the 12 months leading up to December, up from a 6.1 percent year-over-year gain reported […]

Housing Construction Carries Momentum into 2018

New residential construction started the year strong, providing another reason to believe in the overall strength of the economy. The annual rate of privately-owned housing starts in January was up 9.7 percent from December, carrying momentum over from a 2017 that was already the best year for new home construction […]

Gas Pump

Higher Than Expected Inflation Fueled By Volatile Gas

Gas Pump photo by Michael Kappel, used under the Creative Commons’ Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license. Higher gasoline and apparel prices pushed up inflation last month, but consumers aren’t likely to face rapidly increasing prices. The Labor Department reported Wednesday consumer prices rose 0.5% in January, spurred by a 5% increase in […]