Month: April 2011

GDP Expected to Slip

The Federal Open Market Committee announced on Wednesday it would complete purchases of $600 billion in treasury securities in June. Defending the strategy, also known as quantitative easing or QE2, Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed’s actions helped increase stock prices, reduce spreads in credit markets, and lower volatility. Earlier […]

Consumer Confidence Primed for April Resurgence

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index looks to make a rebound this month on the wings of signs that the turmoil that roiled Japan, the Middle East and North Africa in March is finally beginning to calm. The Index, which fell 8.6 percentage points to 63.4 in March, after having […]

Jobless Claims to Return to Normal

Initial claims for unemployment jumped from 385,000 to 412,000 in the first week of April, but experts say that this does not signal a reversal of the downward trend in layoffs.  Most economists forecast the number of initial weekly claims to go back below 400,000. The more reliable four-week moving […]

Housing picture bleak in spite of modest gains

Better weather and an improving jobs outlook likely pushed existing home sales upward in March, but foreclosures, tight credit and lingering unemployment continue to dog the housing market as it enters the spring selling season. Home sales will rise 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million when […]

Price Pressures Worrisome But Not Dire

Darryl Terrel manages Eastside Service Gas Station on the Lower East Side. Business has suffered lately. On Wednesday, the price of gas exceeded $4.30 per gallon in New York City. “It’s taking food from the babies,” Terrel said. Like most consumers in the American economy, manufacturers fear rising inflationary pressures—but […]

CPI Expected to RIse for Third Straight Month

Over the last couple of months Americans have gotten used to the fact that dishing out a little more cash has become a common occurrence – April will be no different. A recent Bloomberg News Survey indicates that economists are forecasting the third straight month of growth in the Consumer […]

Retail Sales Start to Run out of Fuel

Retail sales are expected to show modest gains for the month of March, as the rise in gasoline prices has slowed further growth. As a whole, retail sales are expected to grow, but at a smaller rate than the 0.5 percent projected by a Bloomberg News survey. While another gain […]

Higher Exports in February May Narrow the Trade Deficit

The trade deficit likely narrowed in February due to growth in exports. A consensus survey of 71 estimates show a median trade gap of $44 billion, a 5 percent decrease from January’s $46.3 billion. One indication that exports were strong in February is in the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) […]

Supply Anxiety Drives Strong March Auto Sales

Toyota salesman Mitch Schechter made good money selling Prius hybrids in March, but he stands to make a killing in April. The Prius is one of several models that suffered production shutdowns in Japan after the March 11th earthquake. Spurred by the fear of limited inventory, consumers then flocked to […]

U.S. Farmers Rapidly Losing Market Share in Panama

For American farmers, the pending trade agreement with Panama is no longer about potential gains but about preventing the loss of existing export markets. Since 2007, when the agreement was signed, U.S. share of Panama’s agricultural imports has steadily declined, to 38 percent last year from 60 percent, according to […]