Economic Numbers

7:02am

Mon April 30, 2012
The Two-Way

After Big Gain In February, Consumer Spending Rose Less In March

A large 0.9 percent gain in consumer spending from January to February was followed by a more modest 0.3 percent increase from February to March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Personal income, meanwhile, was up 0.4 percent in March. It had risen 0.3 percent in February.

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3:20pm

Fri April 27, 2012
Economy

Mixed Signals: Weaker Growth, Higher Profits

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Consumers spent more than expected in the first quarter of 2012, partly because they dipped into their savings, but businesses spent less.
Don Ryan AP

The U.S. economy lost some steam during the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said Friday that growth slowed to just 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent at the end of last year.

The good news was that the economy continued to grow during the first quarter of the year. But anyone who was waiting for growth to kick into a higher gear was disappointed once again. One reason for that was a slowdown in business investment — companies spent less on new equipment and software even though profits were surprisingly strong.

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6:43am

Fri April 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Economy Grew At 2.2 Percent Rate In First Quarter

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:12 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of the year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That's down from the 3 percent pace in fourth-quarter 2011, but is still better than the 1.7 percent growth for all of last year.

The first-quarter figure will be revised twice, in each of the next two months.

We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 8:47 a.m. ET. Behind The Numbers:

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6:40am

Thu April 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Almost No Change In Jobless Claims Last Week

There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in another sign that the labor market's recovery remains sluggish, the agency said "the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500." That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.

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6:57am

Wed April 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Orders For Durable Goods Drop Sharply

Orders for equipment, appliances, aircraft and other so-called durable goods fell 4.2 percent in March from February, the Census Bureau reports.

It's the second decline in the past three months and the biggest monthly dip in three years. Much of the drop in March was due to a decline in orders for aircraft. "But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow," The Associated Press writes.

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