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MontrealMichelle wrote:We don't need a pile of reports or statistics - only our own eyes to see that America is still reeling and any "recovery" that is supposedly happening is a grand illusion fabricated by the pols for their own convenience. There is really no credible source of objective data any more in America.
Durable Goods Orders Very Strong In March
By Dirk van Dijk Apr 27, 2011, 1:39 PM
New Orders for Durable Goods rose 2.5% in March. That was well above the consensus expectations of an increase of 1.8%. In addition, the February numbers were revised sharply upwards. It was first reported as an decrease of 0.6%, but now they say new orders rose 0.6%. All in all, a nice combination of acceleration, positive surprise and upward revisions.
Part of the story was the extremely volatile Transportation Equipment side, and more specifically, from the Non-Defense Aircraft component, which is often the case when we get an unusually good (or bad) headline durable goods number. That is mostly orders for big 777’s and 747’s from Boeing (BA), which are very expensive items. It also includes orders for business jets from firms like Textron (TXT). A few orders for new jumbo jets can really skew the numbers for the month.
Excluding transportation equipment, new orders rose 1.3%, slightly above expectations for a 1.2% increase. Last month was revised upwards from a decline of 0.3% to an increase of 0.6%. Overall transportation equipment orders were up 5.9%, and non-defense aircraft were up 0.9%.
New Orders for Durable Goods rose 2.5% in March. That was well above the consensus expectations of an increase of 1.8%. In addition, the February numbers were revised sharply upwards.
The latest Case-Shiller numbers don't look pretty.
Home prices fell or were flat year over year in all 20 major metro markets with the sole exception of Washington, with its overheated government-driven economy, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite.
And in ten cities, home values hit their lowest point since prices began falling in earnest four years ago.
Despite increasing signs of a stabilizing U.S. economy, 19 percent of Americans — including 17 percent of full-time workers — have been compelled to take money from their retirement savings in the last year to cover urgent financial needs, the Financial Security Index found.
Though 80 percent of full-time workers didn't dip into retirement funds, far too many consumers are ill-prepared for emergencies, says Kim McGrigg, manager of community and media relations at Money Management International, a credit counseling agency.
"Perhaps the most alarming thing about these numbers is that they suggest a lack of other options," she says. "Consumers generally consider using retirement funds only as a last resort."
Michael Masiello, founder of the Masiello & Associates wealth management firm in Rochester, N.Y., agrees. "I believe that 17 percent of full-time workers taking early withdrawals is a higher than normal number, and it's certainly higher than it should be," he says.
The potential consequences of tapping retirement funds include early withdrawal fees, taxes and the loss of compound earnings — not to mention the prospect of being unable to retire.
OilFinder2 wrote:Not all construction workers are high school dropouts and dimwits. Maybe some of the Mexican house-framers who speak little English and have little formal education would have a hard time transitioning, but a lot of the others are likely trainable if the will is there.
Our government SHOULD be helping people who are willing to retrain, but you don't see much seriously done about that.
Meh, it was around the consensus. We'll see what the revisions say.
A pair of weak economic reports Thursday show the American recovery remains fragile: Economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter, and jobless claims unexpectedly jumped by 25,000 last week.
The first report was widely expected. The Commerce Department said the nation’s output of goods and services expanded at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first three months of the year. That was down from 3.1% growth in the fourth quarter and 2.8% for all of last year.
The slowdown reflected the sapping effects of rising oil prices on consumer spending and the nation’s trade. National defense spending fell early this year, and budget-strapped state and local governments added to the weaker expenditures.
Many economists weren’t concerned too much about the slowdown, believing much of it was due to temporary factors such as higher fuel costs and harsh winter weather that further held back consumers.
Officials at the Federal Reserve as well as many private forecasters expect economic output to bounce back up to 3% or higher in the rest of the year -- although it remains to be seen whether global economic and political problems, particularly the unrest in the Middle East that is behind the spike in petroleum prices, will ease in the coming months.
Even with the slower pace of growth, the nation’s output in the first quarter, annualized, exceeded $15 trillion for the first time, as measured in current dollars. By this measure, the U.S. recovered from the recent deep recession in the spring of last year.
But the job market is another story. The U.S. economy today still has about 7 million fewer payroll jobs than it did at the end of 2007 when the recession began. And though hiring has picked up in recent months, the gains haven’t been anywhere as quick or stellar as corporate profits -- as Thursday’s report on unemployment claims showed.
The Labor Department said the number of workers filing for jobless benefits for the first time rose by 25,000 to 429,000 in the week ending last Saturday. Although these figures are volatile from week to week, analysts noted that this was the third straight week in which the filings had exceeded 400,000. And the latest number is the highest since late January.
Some seasonal and temporary factors may have played a role in the latest jump in unemployment claims. That includes the Easter holiday and the disaster in Japan, which disrupted delivery of parts in the auto and electronics industry. Though analysts said it was too early to say the labor market was losing momentum, the report was nonetheless a discouraging sign in an economy that is struggling with nearly 9% unemployment.
dinopello wrote:What the heck is a "core consumer"?
vision-master wrote:Like why do you really care anyhoo oily - tell us 'what is the reason'.....
-- Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever produced -- increased 1.8 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent in the fourth.
Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 0.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 6.7 percent in the fourth.
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 7.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.3 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 11.7 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.2 percent. Nondefense increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 3.7 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 3.3 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.6 percent.
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